On Literature

On Literature

Umberto Eco

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0151008124

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In this collection of essays and addresses delivered over the course of his illustrious career, Umberto Eco seeks "to understand the chemistry of [his] passion" for the word. From musings on Ptolemy and "the force of the false" to reflections on the experimental writing of Borges and Joyce, Eco's luminous intelligence and encyclopedic knowledge are on dazzling display throughout. And when he reveals his own ambitions and superstitions, his authorial anxieties and fears, one feels like a secret sharer in the garden of literature to which he so often alludes.
Remarkably accessible and unfailingly stimulating, this collection exhibits the diversity of interests and the depth of knowledge that have made Eco one of the world's leading writers.

Harper and Row Rhetoric: Writing as Thinking, Thinking as Writing

Writing the Qualitative Dissertation: Understanding by Doing

The Story Book: A Writer's Guide to Story Development

Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style

On Writing Horror: A Handbook by the Horror Writers Association

The Rebecca Notebook and Other Memories












the incredible, like me. The world is divided into two classes; those who do the improbable, like everyone else, and those who believe the incredible, like me. Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess. Excess is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like moderation. There is a fatality about good resolutions—they are always made too late. There is a fatality about wicked resolutions—they are always made at the right time. To be premature is to be perfect To be premature is to be

would help to sharpen the musical brain, and to understand why the timbre of the piano was such an integral element of the Sonata in B-flat Minor. It can be educational for one's visual taste and for the exploration of forms to experiment with collages by putting together fragments of The Marriage of the Virgin, of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and the latest Pokémon story. This is essentially what great artists have always done. But these games cannot replace the true educational function of

living in a world so damnably orphic, where there is no room for the language of the man in the street. In a world where the man in the street cannot speak, even the poet has to remain silent. The second heresy is to be found in the information world, which, accustomed as it is now to conspiracies, coded phrases, half-spoken words, alliances promised then canceled, and whispers of divorce that are immediately denied, seeks a secret meaning in every event and in every expression. This is the

consists in saying not the opposite of the truth but the opposite of what one presumes the interlocutor thinks is true. It is ironic to define a stupid person as very intelligent, but only if the addressee knows that the person is stupid. If he does not know, then the irony is missed, and what one has is only false information. Thus irony becomes simply a lie when the addressee is not aware of the game. On the other hand, in terms of intertextual irony, I can tell the story of a double without

already understood all that was needed from this biology of narrativity. The mass media are not alien to our biological tendencies; on the contrary, the media could be accused of being human, all too human. The problem, if it exists, lies in the question whether the pity and terror they provoke genuinely lead to a catharsis; but if one understands catharsis in its homeopathically minimalist sense (have a good cry and you'll feel better), they are, in this minimalist state, applied Poetics. One

Download sample