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Umberto Eco - Author

About the Author

Umberto Eco has written works of fiction, literary criticism and philosophy. His first novel, The Name of the Rose, was a major international bestseller. His other works include Foucault's Pendulum, The Island of the Day Before, Baudolino, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana and The Prague Cemetery, along with many brilliant collections of essays. He died in February 2016.

Featured books by Umberto Eco

Numero Zero

Numero Zero

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/11/2015

1945, Lake Como. Mussolini and his mistress are captured and shot by local partisans. The precise circumstances of Il Duce's death remain shrouded in controversy. 1992, Milan. Colonna, a depressed hack writer, is offered a fee he can't refuse to ghost-write a memoir. His subject: a fledgling newspaper financed by a powerful media magnate. As Colonna gets to know the team, he learns the paranoid theories of Braggadocio, who is convinced that Mussolini's corpse was a body-double and part of a wider Fascist plot. It's the scoop he desperately needs. The evidence? He's working on it. Colonna is sceptical. But when a body is found, stabbed to death in a back alley, and the paper is shut down, even he is jolted out of his complacency.

The Prague Cemetery

The Prague Cemetery

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/11/2011

The Prague Cemetery is Umberto Eco at his most exciting, a novel immediately hailed as his masterpiece. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to notorious forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies both real and imagined, lay one lone man? And what if that evil genius created the most infamous document of all? Eco takes his readers on an unforgettable journey through the underbelly of world-shattering events.

Other books by Umberto Eco

Chronicles of a Liquid Society

Chronicles of a Liquid Society

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/11/2018

Umberto Eco was an international cultural superstar. A celebrated essayist as well as novelist, in this, his last collection, he explores many aspects of the modern world with irrepressible curiosity and wisdom written in his uniquely ironic voice. Written by Eco as articles for his regular column in l'Espresso magazine, he brings his dazzling erudition, incisiveness and keen sense of the everyday to bear on topics such as popular culture and politics, unbridled individualism, conspiracies, the old and the young, mobile phones, mass media, racism, good manners and the crisis in ideological values. It is a final gift to his readers - astute, witty and illuminating.

Chronicles of a Liquid Society

Chronicles of a Liquid Society

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/11/2017

Umberto Eco was an international cultural superstar. A celebrated essayist as well as novelist, in this, his last collection, he explores many aspects of the modern world with irrepressible curiosity and wisdom. A crisis in ideological values, a crisis in politics, unbridled individualism - the familiar backdrop to our lives: a `liquid society' where it's not easy to find a polestar, though stars and starlets are not lacking. In these pieces, written by Eco as articles for his regular column in l'Espresso magazine, he brings his dazzling erudition and keen sense of the everyday to bear on topics such as popular culture and politics, being seen, conspiracies, the old and the young, mobile phones, mass media, racism, good manners and the crisis in ideological values. It is a final gift to his readers - astute, witty and illuminating.

Scrieri despre gandirea medievala

Scrieri despre gandirea medievala

Author: Umberto Eco Format: eBook Release Date: 27/07/2016

Umberto Eco a reunit textele din acest volum pentru a demonstra preocuparea sa continua pentru filosofie, estetica si semiotica medievala inca din anii facultatii, cand a inceput sa fie interesat de istoriografie. Sunt incluse cercetarile sale despre estetica medievala, in special cea a lui Toma din Aquino, studiile de semantica despre arbor porphyriana si despre evolutia medievala a notiunii aristotelice de metafora, analize avand ca subiect limbajul animal, falsificarea, tehnicile de reintrebuintare din Evul Mediu, textele lui Beatus din Liebana si ale literaturii apocaliptice, ale lui Dante, ale lui Raimundus Lullus si ale lullismului, interpretarile moderne ale esteticii tomiste, inclusiv textele de tinerete ale lui Joyce. O a doua sectiune cuprinde texte mai putin academice, dar care pot oferi nespecialistilor cateva idei cu privire la gandirea medievala si la ecourile pe care aceasta le are in epoca moderna, cu reflectii asupra embrionilor in viziunea lui Toma din Aquino, estetica luminii in paradisul dantesc, Milionul lui Marco Polo, miniaturile irlandeze si cele din Evul Mediu tarziu, o parte dintre ele redate in fasciculul de imagini.

Numero Zero

Numero Zero

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/07/2016

The gripping new conspiracy thriller by the bestselling author of The Name of the Rose 1945, Lake Como. Mussolini and his mistress are captured and shot by local partisans. The precise circumstances of Il Duce's death remain shrouded in confusion and controversy. 1992, Milan. Colonna takes a job at a fledgling newspaper financed by a powerful media magnate. There he learns the paranoid theories of Braggadocio, who is convinced that Mussolini's corpse was a body-double and part of a wider Fascist plot. Colonna is sceptical. But when a body is found, stabbed to death in a back alley, and the paper is shut down, even he is jolted out of his complacency. Fuelled by conspiracy theories, Mafiosi, love, corruption and murder, Numero Zero reverberates with the clash of forces that have shaped Italy since the Second World War. This gripping novel from the author of The Name of the Rose is told with all the power of a master storyteller.

Numero Zero

Numero Zero

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2016

1945, Lake Como. Mussolini and his mistress are captured and shot by local partisans. The precise circumstances of Il Duce's death remain shrouded in confusion and controversy. 1992, Milan. Colonna, a depressed hack writer, is offered a fee he can't refuse to ghost-write a memoir. His subject: a fledgling newspaper financed by a powerful media magnate. As Colonna gets to know the team, he learns the paranoid theories of Braggadocio, who is convinced that Mussolini's corpse was a body-double and part of a wider Fascist plot. It's the scoop he desperately needs. The evidence? He's working on it. Colonna is sceptical. But when a body is found, stabbed to death in a back alley, and the paper is shut down, even he is jolted out of his complacency. Fuelled by conspiracy theories, Mafiosi, love, corruption and murder, Numero Zero reverberates with the clash of forces that have shaped Italy since the Second World War. This gripping novel from the author of The Name of the Rose is told with all the power of a master storyteller.

Numele trandafirului

Numele trandafirului

Author: Umberto Eco Format: eBook Release Date: 14/06/2016

In 1327, intr-o manastire izolata de lume, calugarii sunt pe cale de a fi invinuiti de erezie. Singura lor speranta este ajutorul unui faimos franciscan, fratele Guglielmo. Cand lucrurile par sa se limpezeasca intre zidurile misterioasei abatii, calugarii incep sa moara unul dupa altul. Ca sa descopere asasinul, inteleptul calugar, alaturi de ajutorul sau, Adso, se afunda ca un adevarat detectiv in simboluri secrete si manuscrise codificate si aproape isi pierde viata pe culoarele labirintice ale manastirii.

Cronicile unei societati lichide

Cronicile unei societati lichide

Author: Umberto Eco Format: eBook Release Date: 14/06/2016

Criza ideologiilor, criza partidelor, individualism excesiv - asa arata societatea in care traim. O societate lichida, unde nu e deloc usor sa-ti gasesti reperele. O societate cu multe masti: mastile politicii, obsesia mediatica a vizibilitatii, pe care o avem (aproape) cu totii, dependenta de telefoanele mobile, proasta-crestere... O societate dominata de confuzie, de detasare si de fluvii de cuvinte care nu sunt decat locuri comune. In ultima sa carte, Umberto Eco face un portret al societatii actuale, in care nonsensul pare sa prevaleze asupra rationalului, adesea cu efecte comice, dar si cu consecinte ingrijoratoare.

Numero Zero

Numero Zero

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/11/2015

1945, Lake Como. Mussolini and his mistress are captured and shot by local partisans. The precise circumstances of Il Duce's death remain shrouded in controversy. 1992, Milan. Colonna, a depressed hack writer, is offered a fee he can't refuse to ghost-write a memoir. His subject: a fledgling newspaper financed by a powerful media magnate. As Colonna gets to know the team, he learns the paranoid theories of Braggadocio, who is convinced that Mussolini's corpse was a body-double and part of a wider Fascist plot. It's the scoop he desperately needs. The evidence? He's working on it. Colonna is sceptical. But when a body is found, stabbed to death in a back alley, and the paper is shut down, even he is jolted out of his complacency.

The Book of Legendary Lands

The Book of Legendary Lands

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/2015

In the tradition of On Beauty, On Ugliness and The Infinity of Lists, Umberto Eco presents an enthralling and erudite illustrated tour of the fabled places that have awed and eluded us through the ages. From the epic poems of Homer to contemporary science fiction, from the Holy Scriptures to modern mythology and fairy tale, literature and art are full of illusory places we have at some time believed are real, and onto which we have projected our dreams, ideals and fears. Umberto Eco leads us on an illuminating journey through these legendary lands - Atlantis, Thule and Hyperborea, the Earth's interior and the Land of Cockaigne - and explores utopias and dystopias where our imagination can confront concepts that are too incredible, or too challenging, for our limited real world. In The Book of Legendary Lands the author's text is accompanied by several hundred carefully assembled works of art and literature; the result is a beautifully illustrated volume with broad and enduring appeal.

The Story of the Betrothed

The Story of the Betrothed

Author: Umberto Eco Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/04/2015

Lombardy, 1628, a time of oppressive Spanish occupation of Northern Italy, and of the Thirty Years' War. The young lovers Lorenzo and Lucia, both from peasant families, are planning their wedding. However, the villainous Don Rodrigo has designs on Lucia, and the lovers are forced to flee their village. Their dangerous journey in exile takes them through one of the most dramatic epochs in Italian history, filled with war, famine and plague will they ever be able to find happiness together?

How to Write a Thesis

How to Write a Thesis

Umberto Eco's wise and witty guide to researching and writing a thesis, published in English for the first time. By the time Umberto Eco published his best-selling novel The Name of the Rose, he was one of Italy's most celebrated intellectuals, a distinguished academic and the author of influential works on semiotics. Some years before that, in 1977, Eco published a little book for his students, How to Write a Thesis, in which he offered useful advice on all the steps involved in researching and writing a thesis-from choosing a topic to organizing a work schedule to writing the final draft. Now in its twenty-third edition in Italy and translated into seventeen languages, How to Write a Thesis has become a classic. Remarkably, this is its first, long overdue publication in English. Eco's approach is anything but dry and academic. He not only offers practical advice but also considers larger questions about the value of the thesis-writing exercise. How to Write a Thesis is unlike any other writing manual. It reads like a novel. It is opinionated. It is frequently irreverent, sometimes polemical, and often hilarious. Eco advises students how to avoid thesis neurosis and he answers the important question Must You Read Books? He reminds students You are not Proust and Write everything that comes into your head, but only in the first draft. Of course, there was no Internet in 1977, but Eco's index card research system offers important lessons about critical thinking and information curating for students of today who may be burdened by Big Data. How to Write a Thesis belongs on the bookshelves of students, teachers, writers, and Eco fans everywhere. Already a classic, it would fit nicely between two other classics: Strunk and White and The Name of the Rose. Contents The Definition and Purpose of a Thesis * Choosing the Topic * Conducting Research * The Work Plan and the Index Cards * Writing the Thesis * The Final Draft

Serendipities Language and Lunacy

Serendipities Language and Lunacy

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/06/2014

Best-selling author Umberto Eco's latest work unlocks the riddles of history in an exploration of the linguistics of the lunatic, stories told by scholars, scientists, poets, fanatics, and ordinary people in order to make sense of the world. Exploring the Force of the False, Eco uncovers layers of mistakes that have shaped human history, such as Columbus's assumption that the world was much smaller than it is, leading him to seek out a quick route to the East via the West and thus fortuitously discovering America. The fictions that grew up around the cults of the Rosicrucians and Knights Templar were the result of a letter from a mysterious Prester John -undoubtedly a hoax-that provided fertile ground for a series of delusions and conspiracy theories based on religious, ethnic, and racial prejudices. While some false tales produce new knowledge (like Columbus's discovery of America) and others create nothing but horror and shame (the Rosicrucian story wound up fueling European anti-Semitism) they are all powerfully persuasive. In a careful unraveling of the fabulous and the false, Eco shows us how serendipities-unanticipated truths-often spring from mistaken ideas. From Leibniz's belief that the I Ching illustrated the principles of calculus to Marco Polo's mistaking a rhinoceros for a unicorn, Eco tours the labyrinth of intellectual history, illuminating the ways in which we project the familiar onto the strange. Eco uncovers a rich history of linguistic endeavor-much of it ill-conceived-that sought to heal the wound of Babel. Through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Greek, Hebrew, Chinese, and Egyptian were alternately proclaimed as the first language that God gave to Adam, while-in keeping with the colonial climate of the time-the complex language of the Amerindians in Mexico was viewed as crude and diabolical. In closing, Eco considers the erroneous notion of linguistic perfection and shrewdly observes that the dangers we face lie not in the rules we use to interpret other cultures but in our insistence on making these rules absolute. With the startling combination of erudition and wit, bewildering anecdotes and scholarly rigor that are Eco's hallmarks, Serendipities is sure to entertain and enlighten any reader with a passion for the curious history of languages and ideas.

The Story of the Betrothed

The Story of the Betrothed

Author: Umberto Eco, Marco Lorenzetti Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/04/2014

The most famous Italian novel, retold for children This marriage is not supposed to happen. Lombardy, 1628, a time of oppressive Spanish occupation of Northern Italy, and of the Thirty Years' War. The young lovers Lorenzo and Lucia, both from peasant families, are planning their wedding. However, the villainous Don Rodrigo has designs on Lucia, and the lovers are forced to flee their village. Their dangerous journey in exile takes them through one of the most dramatic epochs in Italian history, filled with war, famine and plague - will they ever be able to find happiness together?

From the Tree to the Labyrinth Historical Studies on the Sign and Interpretation

From the Tree to the Labyrinth Historical Studies on the Sign and Interpretation

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/03/2014

The way we create and organize knowledge is the theme of From the Tree to the Labyrinth, a major achievement by one of the world's foremost thinkers on language and interpretation. Umberto Eco begins by arguing that our familiar system of classification by genus and species derives from the Neo-Platonist idea of a tree of knowledge. He then moves to the idea of the dictionary, which--like a tree whose trunk anchors a great hierarchy of branching categories--orders knowledge into a matrix of definitions. In Eco's view, though, the dictionary is too rigid: it turns knowledge into a closed system. A more flexible organizational scheme is the encyclopedia, which---instead of resembling a tree with finite branches--offers a labyrinth of never-ending pathways. Presenting knowledge as a network of interlinked relationships, the encyclopedia sacrifices humankind's dream of possessing absolute knowledge, but in compensation we gain the freedom to pursue an infinity of new connections and meanings. Moving effortlessly from analyses of Aristotle and James Joyce to the philosophical difficulties of telling dogs from cats, Eco demonstrates time and again his inimitable ability to bridge ancient, medieval, and modern modes of thought. From the Tree to the Labyrinth is a brilliant illustration of Eco's longstanding argument that problems of interpretation can be solved only in historical context.

Como se hace una tesis

Como se hace una tesis

Author: Umberto Eco Format: eBook Release Date: 01/01/2014

Ante la actual situacion de masificacion de nuestras universidades, Umberto Eco destina este libro sobre todo a los estudiantes con pocos recursos y apoyos, a los que viven lejos de los grandes centros urbanos con sus facilidades institucionales y a los que nadie les ha explicado como se busca un libro o un documento en bibliotecas y archivos. A pesar de desventajas personales, dice Umberto Eco, se puede hacer una tesis digna, an hallndose en una situacin difcil, causada por discriminaciones recientes o remotas. Se puede aprovechar la ocasin de la tesis ( para recuperar el sentido positivo y progresivo del estudio, no entendido como una cosecha de nociones, sino como una elaboracin crtica de una experiencia, como adquisicin de una capacidad -buena para la vida futura- para localizar los problemas, para afrontarlos con mtodo, para exponerlos siguiendo ciertas tcnicas de comunicacin Los consejos de este libro se dirigen en primer lugar a los estudiantes de disciplinas humansticas, incluyendo ciencias polticas y derecho. El propsito es ensear cmo escoger un tema, organizar el tiempo, llevar a cabo una bsqueda bibliogrfica y estructurar el trabajo elaborado. Se trata de un texto que sobrepasa la categora de una simple instruccin tcnica. Umberto Eco sabe motivar, logra transformar las angustias en tensin positiva, de manera que cualquier estudiante comenzar a sentir inmediatamente confianza en sus posibilidades, con ganas de buscar, seguir pistas y descubrir algo que tal vez nadie haba visto antes. Porque esta obra habla tambin de las propias experiencias de Umberto Eco cuando hizo su tesis sobre Esttica medieval. Las referencias a sus tcticas como joven investigador, las advertencias contra los errores y falsas pistas tienen un carcter casi de suspense.

Name of the Rose

Name of the Rose

Author: Umberto Eco Format: eBook Release Date: 10/12/2013

The international bestseller! A masterful gothic thriller set against the turbulence of medieval Italy.The Name of the RoseThe year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. But his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths that take place in seven days and nights of apocalyptic terror.Brother William turns detective, and a uniquely deft one at that. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon--all sharpened to a glistening edge by his wry humor and ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where "e;the most interesting things happen at night."e;As Brother William goes about unraveling the mystery of what happens at the abbey by day and by night, listeners step into a brilliant re-creation of the fourteenth century, with its dark superstitions and wild prejudices, its hidden passions and sordid intrigues. Virtuoso storyteller Umberto Eco conjures up a gloriously rich portrait of this world with such grace, ease, wit and love that you will become utterly intoxicated with the place and time, in The Name of the Rose.

The Book of Legendary Lands

The Book of Legendary Lands

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/09/2013

From Homer's poems to contemporary science fiction, literature through the ages has continuously invented imaginary and legendary lands, projecting there all those wishes, dreams, utopias and nightmares that are too intrusive and challenging for our limited daily reality. Umberto Eco leads us on an illustrated journey through these distant, unknown lands: introducing us to their inhabitants, their heroes and villains, the passions and preoccupations that shaped them, always mindful of the continued importance of myth and legend to modern life and conciousness. Placing ancient and medieval texts beside contemporary stories, films beside poems, comics beside novels, it is a journey that is both erudite and enjoyable, and one that only Eco could have created.

The Name of the Rose

The Name of the Rose

Author: Umberto Eco Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 02/09/2013

This hugely engaging story of murder, superstition, religious politics and drama in a medieval monastery was one of the most striking novels to appear in the 1980s. The Name of the Rose is a thrilling story enriched with period detail and laced with tongue-in-cheek allusions to fictional characters, the most striking of which is the Franciscan friar William of Baskerville, who displays many characteristics of Sherlock Holmes. Although he looks at the past through a postmodern lens, Eco catapults his readers into the dark medieval world as Brother William tries to discover why people are dying inexplicably and nastily in the monastery. There is something not altogether right within the library that is the pride of the establishment...The old man Adso, who was an impressionable novice at the time, tells the story.

Inventing the Enemy

Inventing the Enemy

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/09/2013

The final collection of essays from the internationally acclaimed and bestselling author of The Name of the Rose and The Prague Cemetery, on the subjects of art and culture. In this collection of essays we find Umberto Eco's perennial areas of interest explored in a lively and engaging style, accompanied by beautiful reproductions of the art he discusses. In these wide-ranging pieces he explores the roots of our civilization, changing ideas of beauty, our obsession with conspiracies and the emblematic heroes of the great narrative, amongst other fascinating topics. Umberto Eco was one of the most influential, and entertaining, intellectuals of the last century, as well as being a critically acclaimed and bestselling writer of both fiction and non-fiction.

The Prague Cemetery

The Prague Cemetery

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/07/2012

Nineteenth-century Europe abounds with conspiracy both ghastly and mysterious. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian priests are strangled with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate black masses by night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies, lay just one man?

The Prague Cemetery

The Prague Cemetery

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2012

Nineteenth-century Europe abounds with conspiracy both ghastly and mysterious. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian priests are strangled with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate black masses by night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies, lies just one man?

This is Not the End of the Book A conversation curated by Jean-Philippe de Tonnac

This is Not the End of the Book A conversation curated by Jean-Philippe de Tonnac

Author: Umberto Eco, Jean-Claude Carriere, Jean-Philippe de Tonnac Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2012

'The book is like the spoon: once invented, it cannot be bettered' - Umberto Eco. These days it is impossible to get away from discussions of whether the book will survive the digital revolution. Blogs, tweets and newspaper articles on the subject appear daily, many of them repetitive, most of them admitting ignorance of the future. Amidst the twittering, the thoughts of Jean-Claude Carriere and Umberto Eco come as a breath of fresh air. This thought-provoking book takes the form of a conversation in which Carriere and Eco discuss everything from how to define the first book to what is happening to knowledge now that infinite amounts of information are available at the click of a mouse. En route there are delightful digressions into personal anecdote. We find out about Eco's first computer and the book Carriere is most sad to have sold. And while, as Carriere says, the one certain thing about the future is that it is unpredictable, it is clear from this conversation that, in some form or other, the book will survive.

The Semiotics of Cellular Communication in the Immune System

The Semiotics of Cellular Communication in the Immune System

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/12/2011

This volume contains the contributions to the workshop The Semiotics of Cellular Communication in The Immune System which took place at 11 Ciocco in the hills north of Lucca, Italy, September ~-12, 1986. The workshop was the first meeting of what we hope will be a broad consideration of communication among lymphocytes, and focused on the new interdisciplinary branch of biological sciences, immunosemiotics. It is in the realm of the possible, if not the probable, that in the future a number of scientists larger than the thirty present at 11 Ciocco will find immunosemiotics to fill a need in scientific thinking and a gap between biology and the humanities. This might lead to growth and flourishing of the branch, and in this case the first conference and this first book could be blessed by the impalpable qual ity of becoming historical , if in an admittedly 1 imited sense. Just in case this should happen the organizers/editors think it wise to set the record straight at this particular time, about the sequen~e of events and circumstances that crystallized the archeology of the 11 Liocco gathering. They feel a sort of obligation to this endeavor: it has happened all too often that innocent historians have been left in utter confusion by the careless founders of new religions, schisms, revolutions, et cetera, who simply forget to jot down the facts before the whirlwind of time engulfs them in its fog.

On Ugliness

On Ugliness

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/09/2011

Beauty and ugliness are two sides of the same coin; by ugliness we usually mean the opposite of beauty and we often define the first in order to understand the nature of the second. But the various depictions of ugliness over the centuries are richer and more unpredictable than is commonly thought. The striking images and anthological quotations in On Ugliness lead us on an extraordinary journey through the passions, terrors and nightmares of almost three thousand years, where acts of rejection go hand in hand with touching instances of empathy, and an aversion to deformity is accompanied by seductive violations of all classical canons. With his characteristic wit and erudition, Umberto Eco draws on examples in art and literature from ancient times to the present day. Abundantly illustrated with demons, madmen, vile enemies and disquieting presences, with freaks and the living dead, On Ugliness is conceived for a vast and diverse readership, and is an invaluable companion volume to On Beauty.

Confessions of a Young Novelist

Confessions of a Young Novelist

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/04/2011

Umberto Eco published his first novel, The Name of the Rose, in 1980, when he was nearly fifty. In these confessions, the author, now in his late seventies, looks back on his long career as a theorist and his more recent work as a novelist, and explores their fruitful conjunction. He begins by exploring the boundary between fiction and nonfiction--playfully, seriously, brilliantly roaming across this frontier. Good nonfiction, he believes, is crafted like a whodunnit, and a skilled novelist builds precisely detailed worlds through observation and research. Taking us on a tour of his own creative method, Eco recalls how he designed his fictional realms. He began with specific images, made choices of period, location, and voice, composed stories that would appeal to both sophisticated and popular readers. The blending of the real and the fictive extends to the inhabitants of such invented worlds. Why are we moved to tears by a character's plight? In what sense do Anna Karenina, Gregor Samsa, and Leopold Bloom exist ? At once a medievalist, philosopher, and scholar of modern literature, Eco astonishes above all when he considers the pleasures of enumeration. He shows that the humble list, the potentially endless series, enables us to glimpse the infinite and approach the ineffable. This young novelist is a master who has wise things to impart about the art of fiction and the power of words.

Naming the Rose Essays on Eco's 'The Name of the Rose'

Naming the Rose Essays on Eco's 'The Name of the Rose'

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/12/2010

The original essays gathered in this book make a beginning at exploring the cultural significance of The Name of the Rose in terms of its backgrounds and literary contexts. Eco's novel is examined in the light of several of the traditions from which it draws: theories of detective fiction, comedy, postmodernism, the apocalypse, semiotics, and literary criticism. The authors from a variety of language disciplines frequently draw on Eco's own scholarly commentaries to elucidate the novel. The Name of the Rose was published in English in the United States in 1983 and remained on the best-seller list for forty weeks. Paperback publication rights brought the highest price ever paid for a translation, and in 1986 it became a major motion picture. Written by a distinguished professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, the novel was an immediate bestseller in Italy in 1980 and was subsequently translated into twenty languages to universal acclaim.The question all this raises is, how can such a novel be so popular--a detective set in a medieval monastery, which entertains at the same time as it deals with theology, history, politics, humanism, comedy, literary criticism, and just about everything else that makes up culture and society? Is it possible that a popular piece of fiction, accessible to general readers, can also address complex and profound ideas? This volume of essays on the celebrated novel is the first of several books to be written in appreciation of Eco's remarkable accomplishment. It has the distinction also of including a foreword written by Eco himself in response to the essays, certainly one of the few times when the author has agreed to critique his critics. In addition, this collection contains a bibliography of Eco criticism.Just as The Name of the Rose has something for everyone, so too does this book of critical essays. Scholar, teacher, student, and general reader alike will benefit from the light it casts on a contemporary literary phenomenon.

On Beauty A History of a Western Idea

On Beauty A History of a Western Idea

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2010

On Beauty is neither a history of art, nor a history of aesthetics, but Umberto Eco draws on both these disciplines to define the ideas of beauty that have informed us from the classical world to modern times. In terms of form and style, On Beauty has been conceived for a vast and diverse readership. Packed with examples from painting, sculpture, architecture, film, photography, the decorative arts and literature, it offers a rich and intelligent panorama of this huge subject. In On Beauty Eco is at his most captivating and eclectic: we read not only of Botticelli and Michelangelo but of how much the fashion of the 1960s owes to ancient Egyptian dress, and how ancient Roman and eighteenth-century hairstyles have much in common. It makes the familiar new, and sheds a brilliant light on the unfamiliar. On Beauty is illustrated in full colour throughout and produced to the highest standards.

The Name Of The Rose

The Name Of The Rose

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/04/2010

Set in Italy in the Middle Ages, this is not only a narrative of a murder investigation in a monastery in 1327, but also a chronicle of the 14th century religious wars, a history of monastic orders, and a compendium of heretical movements.

Experiences in Translation

Experiences in Translation

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2008

In this book Umberto Eco argues that translation is not about comparing two languages, but about the interpretation of a text in two different languages, thus involving a shift between cultures. An author whose works have appeared in many languages, Eco is also the translator of G rard de Nerval's Sylvie and Raymond Queneau's Exercices de style from French into Italian. In Experiences in Translation he draws on his substantial practical experience to identify and discuss some central problems of translation. As he convincingly demonstrates, a translation can express an evident deep sense of a text even when violating both lexical and referential faithfulness. Depicting translation as a semiotic task, he uses a wide range of source materials as illustration: the translations of his own and other novels, translations of the dialogue of American films into Italian, and various versions of the Bible. In the second part of his study he deals with translation theories proposed by Jakobson, Steiner, Peirce, and others. Overall, Eco identifies the different types of interpretive acts that count as translation. An enticing new typology emerges, based on his insistence on a common-sense approach and the necessity of taking a critical stance.

Turning Back The Clock Hot Wars and Media Populism

Turning Back The Clock Hot Wars and Media Populism

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/01/2008

After the Cold War, the 'Hot War' has made its comeback in Afghanistan and Iraq. Exhuming Kipling's 'Great Game', we have gone back to the clash between Islam and Christianity. The ghost of the Yellow Peril has been resurrected, the nineteenth-century anti-Darwin debate has been reopened, right-wing governments predominate. It almost seems like history, tired of the big steps forward it has taken in the past two millennia, has gone into reverse. With his customary sharpness and wit, Eco proposes, not so much that we resume a forward march, but at the very least that we cease marching backwards.

On Ugliness

On Ugliness

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/10/2007

This book is the follow up to the previous volume On Beauty. Apparently beauty and ugliness are concepts that imply each other, and by ugliness we usually mean the opposite of beauty, so all we need do is define the first to understand the nature of the second. But the various manifestations of ugliness over the centuries are richer and more unpredictable than is commonly thought. The anthological quotations and the extraordinary illustrations in this book lead us on a surprising journey among the nightmares, terrors, and loves of almost three thousand years, where acts of rejection go hand in hand with touching gestures of compassion, and the rejection of deformity is accompanied by decadent ecstasies over the most seductive violations of all classical canons. Among demons, madmen, horrible enemies, and disquieting presences, among horrid abysses and deformities that verge on the sublime, among freaks and the living dead, we discover a vast and often unsuspected iconographic vein. So much so that, on gradually encountering in these pages the ugliness of nature, spiritual ugliness, asymmetry, disharmony, disfigurement, and the succession of things sordid, weak, vile, banal, random, arbitrary, coarse, repugnant, clumsy, horrendous, vacuous, nauseating, criminal, spectral, witchlike, satanic, repellent, disgusting, unpleasant, grotesque, abominable, odious, crude, foul, dirty, obscene, frightening, abject, monstrous, hair-raising, ugly, terrible, terrifying, revolting, repulsive, loathsome, fetid, ignoble, awkward, ghastly and indecent, the first foreign publisher to see this book exclaimed: 'How beautiful ugliness is!'

The Name of the Rose

The Name of the Rose

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/10/2006

Who is killing monks in a great medieval abbey famed for its library - and why? Brother William of Baskerville is sent to find out, taking with him the assistant who later tells the tale of his investigations. Eco's celebrated story combines elements of detective fiction, metaphysical thriller, post-modernist puzzle and historical novel in one of the few twentieth-century books which can be described as genuinely unique. The Name of the Rose was made into a film in 1986, starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater and directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud.

The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana

The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2006

In this fascinating, abundant new novel from the incomparable Eco, Yambo, a rare-book dealer, has suffered a bizarre form of memory loss. He can remember every book he ever read but nothing about his own life. In an effort to retrieve his past, he withdraws into his old family home and searches through boxes of old newspapers, comics, records, photo albums and diaries kept in the attic. And so Yambo relives his youth: Mussolini, Catholic education, Josephine Baker, Flash Gordon, Fred Astaire. His memories run wild, and life racing before his eyes takes the form of a graphic novel. Yambo struggles through the flames to capture one simple, innocent image, that of his first love.

Belief or Non-belief? A Confrontation

Belief or Non-belief? A Confrontation

Author: Umberto Eco, Carlo Martini Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/03/2006

In this stimulating dialogue, often adversarial but always amicable, these two great men, who stand on opposite sides of the church door, discuss some of the most controversial issues of the day. One is the prince of the Church, a respected scholar and one of the pre-eminent ecumenical churchmen of Europe; the other the world famous author of The Name of the Rose , a scholar, philosopher and self-declared secularist, a man who writes with equal ease about Thomas Aquinas and James Joyce, about computers and the medieval Templars.

On Literature

On Literature

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/01/2006

Remarkably accessible and unfailingly stimulating, this collection of essays exhibits the diversity of interests and the depth of knowledge that made Umberto Eco one of the world's leading writers. From musings on Ptolemy and reflections on the experimental writing of Borges and Joyce, to revelations of his own authorial ambitions and fears, Eco's luminous intelligence is on display throughout. This volume will appeal to anyone interested in how new light is shed on old masters by a great contemporary mind.

The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana

The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2005

Yambo, a sixty-ish rare book dealer who lives in Milan has suffered a loss of memory; not the kind of memory neurologists call 'semantic' (Yambo remembers all about Julius Caesar and can recite every poem he has ever read), but rather his 'autobiographical' memory: he no longer knows his own name, doesn't recognize his wife or his daughters, doesn't remember anything about his parents or his childhood. His wife, who is at his sideas he slowly begins to recover, convinces him to return to his family home in the hills somewhere between Milan and Turin. Yambo promptly retreats to the sprawling attic, cluttered with boxes of newspapers, comics, records, photo albums and adolescent diaries. There, he relives the story of his generation: Mussolini, Catholic education and guilt, Josephine Baker, Flash Gordon, Cyrano de Bergerac. As he recovers his memory, two voids remain shrouded in fog: a terrible event he experienced during the resistance, and the vague image of a girl whom he loved at sixteen, then lost. But a relapse occurs. Now in a coma, his memories run wild, and life racing before his eyes takes the form of a graphic novel. Yambo struggles through the frames to find at last the face of the girl he loves: she descends the stairs of their high school and morphs into a Dante-esque promise (or threat) of the afterlife, as he struggles harder to capture her simple, innocent, real-life image - the schoolgirl he never forgot. Copiously illustrated throughout with images from comics, book jackets, record sleeves and other printed ephemera, The Mysterious Flame is a fascinating and hugely entertaining new novel from the incomparable Umberto Eco.

Mouse or Rat? Translation as Negotiation

Mouse or Rat? Translation as Negotiation

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/12/2004

From the world-famous author of THE NAME OF THE ROSE, an illuminating and humorous study on the pleasures and pitfalls of translation. 'Translation is always a shift, not between two languages but between two cultures. A translator must take into account rules that are not strictly linguistic but, broadly speaking, cultural.' Umberto Eco is of the world's most brilliant and entertaining writers on literature and language. In this accessible and dazzling study, he turns his eye on the subject of translations and the problems the differences between cultures can cause. The book is full of little gems about mistranslations and misunderstandings.For example when you put 'Studies in the logic of Charles Sanders Peirce' through an internet translation machine, it becomes 'Studies in the logic of the Charles of sandpaper grinding machines Peirce'. In Italian 'ratto' has no connotation of 'contemptible person' but denotes speed ('you dirty rat' could take on a whole new meaning!) What could be a weighty subject is never dull, fired by Eco's immense wit and erudition, providing an entertaining read that illuminates the process of negotiation that all translators must make.

The Name Of The Rose

The Name Of The Rose

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/01/2004

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate.When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where extraordinary things are happening under the over of night. A spectacular popular and critical success, The Name of the Rose is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages.

Baudolino

Baudolino

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2003

An extraordinary epic, brilliantly-imagined, new novel from a world-class writer and author of The Name of the Rose. Discover the Middle Ages with Baudolino - a wondrous, dazzling, beguiling tale of history, myth and invention. It is 1204, and Constantinople is being sacked and burned by the knights of the fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion Baudolino saves a Byzantine historian and high court official from certain death at the hands of the crusading warriors, and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story.

Five Moral Pieces

Five Moral Pieces

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/12/2002

Embracing the web of multi-culturalism that has become a fact of contemporary life from New York to New Delhi, Eco argues that we are more connected to people of other traditions and customs than ever before, making tolerance the ultimate value in today's world. What good, he asks in a talk delivered during the Gulf War, does war do in a world where the flow of goods, services, and information is unstoppable, and the enemy is always behind the lines? What makes news today, who decides how it will be presented and how does the way it is disseminated contribute to the widespread disillusionment with politics in general? In one of the most personal of the essays, Eco recalls experiencing liberation from fascism in Italy as a boy, and examines the various historical forms of fascism, always with an eye toward such ugly manifestations today. And finally, in an intensely personal open letter to an Italian Cardinal, Eco reflects on a question underlying all the reflections in the book - what does it mean to be moral or ethical when one doesn't believe in God? As thoughtful and subtle as they are pragmatic and relevant, these essays present one of the world's most important thinkers at the height of his critical powers.

Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages

Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/03/2002

In this authoritative, lively book, the celebrated Italian novelist and philosopher Umberto Eco presents a learned summary of medieval aesthetic ideas. Juxtaposing theology and science, poetry and mysticism, Eco explores the relationship that existed between the aesthetic theories and the artistic experience and practice of medieval culture. [A] delightful study. . . . [Eco's] remarkably lucid and readable essay is full of contemporary relevance and informed by the energies of a man in love with his subject. -Robert Taylor, Boston Globe The book lays out so many exciting ideas and interesting facts that readers will find it gripping. -Washington Post Book World A lively introduction to the subject. -Michael Camille, The Burlington Magazine If you want to become acquainted with medieval aesthetics, you will not find a more scrupulously researched, better written (or better translated), intelligent and illuminating introduction than Eco's short volume. -D. C. Barrett, Art Monthly

Foucault's Pendulum

Foucault's Pendulum

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/2001

Three book editors, jaded by reading far too many crackpot manuscripts on the mystic and the occult, are inspired by an extraordinary conspiracy story told to them by a strange colonel to have some fun. They start feeding random bits of information into a powerful computer capable of inventing connections between the entries, thinking they are creating nothing more than an amusing game, but then their game starts to take over, the deaths start mounting, and they are forced into a frantic search for the truth

How To Travel With A Salmon and Other Essays

How To Travel With A Salmon and Other Essays

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/04/2001

'Between a bottle of Epsom salts or one of twenty-year-old cognac, which would you choose? Would you rather spend your vacation with an eighty-year old leper or with Demi Moore? Do you prefer being sprinkled with ferocious red ants or sharing a sleeping compartment with Claudia Schiffer?' From the celebrated author of The Name of the Rose, here is a dazzling compendium of advice offering the correct answers to these and many other important questions. Tackling topics as diverse as the coffee pot from hell, eating on an aeroplane, how not to use a cellular phone and recognising porn movies, Umberto Eco guides us with all his customary wit and brilliance through the complexities of the modern world.

Apocalypse Postponed Essays by Umberto Eco

Apocalypse Postponed Essays by Umberto Eco

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2000

An erudite and witty collection of Umberto Eco's essays on mass culture from the 1960s through the 1980s, including major pieces which have not been translated into English before. The discussion is framed by opposing characterizations of current intellectuals as apocalyptic and opposed to all mass culture, or as integrated intellectuals, so much a part of mass culture as to be unaware of serving it. Organized in four main parts, Mass Culture: Apocalypse Postponed, Mass Media and the Limits of Communication, The Rise and Fall of Counter-Cultures, and In Search of Italian Genius, Eco looks at a variety of topics and cultural productions, including the world of Charlie Brown, distinctions between highbrow and lowbrow, the future of literacy, Chinese comic strips, whether countercultures exist, Fellini's Ginger and Fred, and the Italian genius industry.

Kant And The Platypus

Kant And The Platypus

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2000

How much do our perceptions of things depend on our cognitive ability, and how much on our linguistic resources? Where, and how, do these two questions meet? Umberto Eco undertakes a series of idiosyncratic and typically brilliant explorations, starting from the perceived data of common sense, from which flow an abundance of 'stories' or fables, often with animals as protagonists, to expound a clear critique of Kant, Heidegger and Peirce. And as a beast designed specifically to throw spanners in the works of cognitive theory, the duckbilled platypus naturally takes centre stage.

Serendipities Language And Lunacy

Serendipities Language And Lunacy

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/1999

The extraordinary historical consequences of errors and fictional inventions. SERENDIPITIES is an iconoclastic, dazzlingly erudite and witty demonstration, by one of the world's most brilliant thinkers, of how myths and lunacies can produce historical developments of no small significance. In Eco's words, 'even errors can produce interesting side effects'. Eco's book shows how: -- believers in a flat earth helped Columbus accidentally discover America -- the medieval myth of Prester John, the Christian king in Asia, assisted the European drive eastward -- the myth of the Rosicrucians affected the Masons, leading in turn to the widespread belief in a Jewish masonic plot to dominate the world and other forms of paranoid anti-Semitism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

The Search for the Perfect Language

The Search for the Perfect Language

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/07/1997

The idea that there once existed a language which perfectly and unambiguously expressed the essence of all possible things and concepts has occupied the minds of philosophers, theologians, mystics and others for at least two millennia. This is an investigation into the history of that idea and of its profound influence on European thought, culture and history. From the early Dark Ages to the Renaissance it was widely believed that the language spoken in the Garden of Eden was just such a language, and that all current languages were its decadent descendants from the catastrophe of the Fall and at Babel. The recovery of that language would, for theologians, express the nature of divinity, for cabbalists allow access to hidden knowledge and power, and for philosophers reveal the nature of truth. Versions of these ideas remained current in the Enlightenment, and have recently received fresh impetus in attempts to create a natural language for artificial intelligence. The story that Umberto Eco tells ranges widely from the writings of Augustine, Dante, Descartes and Rousseau, arcane treatises on cabbalism and magic, to the history of the study of language and its origins. He demonstrates the initimate relation between language and identity and describes, for example, how and why the Irish, English, Germans and Swedes - one of whom presented God talking in Swedish to Adam, who replied in Danish, while the serpent tempted Eve in French - have variously claimed their language as closest to the original. He also shows how the late eighteenth-century discovery of a proto-language (Indo-European) for the Aryan peoples was perverted to support notions of racial superiority. To this subtle exposition of a history of extraordinary complexity, Umberto Eco links the associated history of the manner in which the sounds of language and concepts have been written and symbolized. Lucidly and wittily written, the book is, in sum, a tour de force of scholarly detection and cultural interpretation, providing a series of original perspectives on two thousand years of European History. The paperback edition of this book is not available through Blackwell outside of North America.

Incontro-Encounter-Rencontre

Incontro-Encounter-Rencontre

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/12/1996

Island Of The Day Before

Island Of The Day Before

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/1996

The year is 1643. Roberto, a young nobleman, survives war, the Bastille, exile and shipwreck as he voyages to a Pacific island straddling the date meridian. There he waits now, alone on the mysteriously deserted Daphne, separated by treacherous reefs from the island beyond: the island of the day before. If he could reach it, time - and his misfortunes - might be reversed. But first he must learn to swim...

The Search for the Perfect Language

The Search for the Perfect Language

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/09/1995

The idea that there once existed a language which perfectly and unambiguously expressed the essence of all possible things and concepts has occupied the minds of philosophers, theologians, mystics and others for at least two millennia. This is an investigation into the history of that idea and of its profound influence on European thought, culture and history. From the early Dark Ages to the Renaissance it was widely believed that the language spoken in the Garden of Eden was just such a language, and that all current languages were its decadent descendants from the catastrophe of the Fall and at Babel. The recovery of that language would, for theologians, express the nature of divinity, for cabbalists allow access to hidden knowledge and power, and for philosophers reveal the nature of truth. Versions of these ideas remained current in the Enlightenment, and have recently received fresh impetus in attempts to create a natural language for artificial intelligence. The story that Umberto Eco tells ranges widely from the writings of Augustine, Dante, Descartes and Rousseau, arcane treatises on cabbalism and magic, to the history of the study of language and its origins. He demonstrates the initimate relation between language and identity and describes, for example, how and why the Irish, English, Germans and Swedes -- one of whom presented God talking in Swedish to Adam, who replied in Danish, while the serpent tempted Eve in French -- have variously claimed their language as closest to the original. He also shows how the late eighteenth--century discovery of a proto--language (Indo--European) for the Aryan peoples was perverted to support notions of racial superiority. To this subtle exposition of a history of extraordinary complexity, Umberto Eco links the associated history of the manner in which the sounds of language and concepts have been written and symbolized. Lucidly and wittily written, the book is, in sum, a tour de force of scholarly detection and cultural interpretation, providing a series of original perspectives on two thousand years of European History. The paperback edition of this book is not available through Blackwell outside of North America.

Six Walks in the Fictional Woods

Six Walks in the Fictional Woods

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/1995

In Six Walks in the Fictional Woods Umberto Eco shares with us his Secret Life as a reader-his love for MAD magazine, for Scarlett O'Hara, for the nineteenth-century French novelist Nerval's Sylvie, for Little Red Riding Hood, Agatha Christie, Agent 007 and all his ladies. We see, hear, and feel Umberto Eco, the passionate reader who has gotten lost over and over again in the woods, loved it, and come back to tell the tale, The Tale of Tales. Eco tells us how fiction works, and he also tells us why we love fiction so much. This is no deconstructionist ripping the veil off the Wizard of Oz to reveal his paltry tricks, but the Wizard of Art himself inviting us to join him up at his level, the Sorcerer inviting us to become his apprentice.

Faith In Fakes

Faith In Fakes

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/05/1995

Holography, wax museums, the secret meaning of spectator sports, Superman and the intellectual effects of over-tight jeans are just a few of the subjects covered in this collection of witty, entertaining and thought-provoking delights from Umberto Eco, celebrated author of The Name of the Rose.

The Name Of The Rose

The Name Of The Rose

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/1992

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate.When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where extraordinary things are happening under the over of night. A spectacular popular and critical success, The Name of the Rose is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages.

Tanner Lectures in Human Values Interpretation and Overinterpretation

Tanner Lectures in Human Values Interpretation and Overinterpretation

Author: Umberto Eco, Jonathan Culler, Richard Rorty Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/1992

Umberto Eco, international bestselling novelist and leading literary theorist, here brings together these two roles in a provocative discussion of the vexed question of literary interpretation. The limits of interpretation - what a text can actually be said to mean - are of double interest to a semiotician whose own novels' intriguing complexity has provoked his readers into intense speculation as to their meaning. Eco's illuminating and frequently hilarious discussion ranges from Dante to The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum to Chomsky and Derrida, and bears all the hallmarks of his inimitable personal style. Three of the world's leading figures in philosophy, literary theory and criticism take up the challenge of entering into debate with Eco on the question of interpretation. Richard Rorty, Jonathan Culler and Christine Brooke-Rose each offer a distinctive perspective on this contentious topic, contributing to a unique exchange of ideas between some of the foremost and most exciting theorists in the field.

The Limits of Interpretation

The Limits of Interpretation

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/01/1991

In this new collection of essays, Eco focuses on what he calls the limits of interpretation, or, as he once noted in another context, the cancer of uncontrolled interpretation . Readers of Eco's other work will find here all the ingredients with which they have become familiar--vast learning, an agile and exciting mind, good humor and a brilliance of insight.

The Open Work

The Open Work

Author: Umberto Eco, David Robey Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/1989

More than twenty years after its original appearance in Italian, The Open Work remains significant for its powerful concept of openness --the artist's decision to leave arrangements of some constituents of a work to the public or to chance--and for its striking anticipation of two major themes of contemporary literary theory: the element of multiplicity and plurality in art, and the insistence on literary response as an interactive process between reader and text. The questions Umberto Eco raises, and the answers he suggests, are intertwined in the continuing debate on literature, art, and culture in general. This entirely new edition, edited for the English-language audience with the approval of Eco himself, includes an authoritative introduction by David Robey that explores Eco's thought at the period of The Open Work, prior to his absorption in semiotics. The book now contains key essays on Eco's mentor Luigi Pareyson, on television and mass culture, and on the politics of art. Harvard University Press will publish separately and simultaneously the extended study of James Joyce that was originally part of The Open Work, entitled The Aesthetics of Chaosmos: The Middle Ages of James Joyce. The Open Work explores a set of issues in aesthetics that remain central to critical theory, and does so in a characteristically vivid style. Eco's convincing manner of presenting ideas and his instinct for the lively example are threaded compellingly throughout. This book is at once a major treatise in modern aesthetics and an excellent introduction to Eco's thought.

The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas

The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/1988

The well-known Italian semiotician and novelist Umberto Eco discloses for the first time to English-speaking readers the unsuspected richness, breadth, complexity, and originality of the aesthetic theories advanced by the influential medieval thinker Thomas Aquinas, heretofore known principally as a scholastic theologian. Inheriting his basic ideas and conceptions of art and beauty from the classical world, Aquinas transformed or modified these ideas in the light of Christian theology and of developments in metaphysics and optics during the thirteenth century. Setting the stage with an account of the vivid aesthetic and artistic sensibility that flourished in medieval times, Eco examines Aquinas's conception of transcendental beauty, his theory of aesthetic perception or visio, and his account of the three conditions of beauty--integrity, proportion, and clarity--that, centuries later, emerged again in the writings of the young James Joyce. He examines the concrete application of these theories in Aquinas's reflections on God, mankind, music, poetry, and scripture. He discusses Aquinas's views on art and compares his poetics with Dante's. In a final chapter added to the second Italian edition, Eco examines how Aquinas's aesthetics came to be absorbed and superseded in late medieval times and draws instructive parallels between Thomistic methodology and contemporary structuralism. As the only book-length treatment of Aquinas's aesthetics available in English, this volume should interest philosophers, medievalists, historians, critics, and anyone involved in poetics, aesthetics, or the history of ideas.

Carnival!

Carnival!

Author: Umberto Eco, V. V. Ivanov, Monica Rector Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/12/1984

Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language

Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/1984

Eco wittily and enchantingly develops themes often touched on in his previous works, but he delves deeper into their complex nature...this collection can be read with pleasure by those unversed in semiotic theory. -Times Literary Supplement

The Sign of Three Dupin, Holmes, Peirce

The Sign of Three Dupin, Holmes, Peirce

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/1984

... fascinating throughout.... the book is recreative in the highest sense. -Arthur C. Danto, The New Republic A gem for Holmes fans and armchair detectives with a penchant for logical reflection, and Peirce scholars. -Library Journal

The Role of the Reader Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts

The Role of the Reader Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/1979

...not merely interesting and novel, but also exceedingly provocative and heuristically fertile. -The Review of Metaphysics ...essential reading for anyone interesting in...the new reader-centered forms of criticism. -Library Journal In this erudite and imaginative book, Umberto Eco sets forth a dialectic between 'open' and 'closed' texts.

A Theory of Semiotics

A Theory of Semiotics

Author: Umberto Eco Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/1976

...the greatest contribution to [semiotics] since the pioneering work of C. S. Peirce and Charles Morris. -Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism ...draws on philosophy, linguistics, sociology, anthropology and aesthetics and refers to a wide range of scholarship...raises many fascinating questions. -Language in Society ...a major contribution to the field of semiotic studies. -Robert Scholes, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism ...the most significant text on the subject published in the English language that I know of. -Arthur Asa Berger, Journal of Communication Eco's treatment demonstrates his mastery of the field of semiotics. It focuses on the twin problems of the doctrine of signs-communication and signification-and offers a highly original theory of sign production, including a carefully wrought typology of signs and modes of production.