Umberto Eco


I do not consider myself a stupid man, and rarely have I asked this; but does anyone know of where I can find something of a "idiots guide to Eco" I've read both Foucault's Pendulum & The Name of the Rose. But want to understand more. Thanks.

>>By Dustin   (Wednesday, 16 Jul 2003 06:34)

I have just completed BAUDOLINO. I have always enjoyed Umberto Eco's work. It is no different for this current read, however, it is not a neatly tied up package; meaning that there is much left for the reader to continue doing after the read.
To fall in love with Hyatia, and to reread what his dead child looked like has me wondering where Baudolino might have given up on reality and entered a world of illusion.
It most definately has me questioning what I am willing to believe in.
How about you?
Thank you Mr. Eco.

>>By Joe   (Wednesday, 23 Jul 2003 03:48)

There is a very good book from the University of Toronto called, READING ECO. I found it wonderful. Eco is most definately a challenge and it helps to read what others think about his work. These are some top notch thinkers too.
There are other works as well, but none that I can suggest first hand.

>>By Joe   (Wednesday, 23 Jul 2003 08:09)

Baudolino, compared to Foucults Pedulum and Name of the Rose in may opinion is more or a relaxing book to read in terms of how he chooses how to tells the story , The book is a delight to read as well as the sences as I find my self wodering about the aroma of the broth, the stench of the cheez and the tast of the wine that was seved as Baudolino told his story , I may not be a a shcoolarly fellow be this gave me an understanding in his phylisophy of symbolisim and how it plays in to Baudolinos psychological uphevle, and I agree with Joe that it leaves you nothing in the end coz it ovious that he has gone mad but you cant help but fell sorry for him in the end what seemed like a of promis and privilage ends up for him chasing a dream

>>By Isagani   (Saturday, 9 Aug 2003 05:36)

I have read his famous book "The name of the Rose",and I think that this book is excellent.I tried to read "Foucaults Pendulum,but I have not finished it.I think that this book is the worst his book, because Ecco ,in that book, got lost in philosophical and ,almost, medicine thinking . I have never read his last novel,"Baudolino,because I have not bought this book jet.
I think that Ecco is great writer and philosopher.He somethimes might get lost in Philosophic and discussions about religion, but,He heve got a great stule, and his dialogues are fantastic,almost strange.This dialogues always reminds me to great novel of Herman Melvil,"Moby Dick"

>>By Detective   (Monday, 2 Feb 2004 21:51)

Umberto Eco....semiologist, philosopher, & writer of arguably one of the greatest books of all time, 'In The Name of the Rose'. Regardless of the time in which the story takes place, the underlying themes of religion & class are extremely powerful & can easily be applied to modern life. Besides, theres nothing like a good whodunnit?!

>>By BEN HOLLYWOOD   (Tuesday, 3 Feb 2004 04:45)

Besides being a wonderful storyteller with philosophical depth, Umberto Eco is a writer's writer who provides precise insights into the structure of writing and written communication. He explains, for instance, that a reader is always present in a writer's mind, playing a critic's role as words come along. The quality of a text is the result of how productive that inner dialogue has been. Eco's a must for any writer or communication student.

>>By Noudjali   (Tuesday, 3 Feb 2004 18:02)

some interesting comments on this author. the descriptiveness read in 'the name of the rose' is full out heady. i forgot that i skimmed/cheated at times in this book, like a little jump start, being that detail can weigh one's brain down, especially late at night. I fully loved this book, however, i gave a try at 'the island of the day before' and just couldn't muster the same strategy together. rather i'd read while fantasizing about some sheetrock to knock my head against. the scenario was gripping, the ship -'wow', but those logistical descriptions of battles happening years earlier, i just couldn't do it...

>>By dawidek   (Monday, 16 Feb 2004 05:57)

Foucault's Pendulum is by far my favourite novel! If you are having trouble reading the book, look up "Interpretation and Over Interpretation" by Eco, and read up on Hermetics. His concept of "hermetic semiosis" in the aforementioned reading will explain the logic (or lack thereof) that his misadventurous characters follow. Once you get it, it really is a hillarious read!

>>By ora   (Tuesday, 22 Jun 2004 13:16)

The thing I like more in his books, especially in the fictions, is the strategy he is using to put the reader's mind where he wants to.
If you have read the Postscript of The Name of the Rose you will find it easy that you are involved in this strategy. The funny thing he writes there is that he consideres The Name of the Rose as a thriller, apart of the encyclopedic view he gives on the nature, medicine, religion, politics, literature and arts of the 15th century.
Ecco is also known as an linguistic, as well as an art critic. I like his The role of the reader and the prespectives he gives upon the reader's view of an artistical work

>>By Felina   (Monday, 23 Aug 2004 15:27)

I haven't read that ridiculously popular publishing phenomenon THE DAVINCI CODE, but it sounds like a complete rip-off of FOCAULT'S PENDULUM. I saw a special on television about it the other night, and I couldn't believe the similarities.

>>By conl   (Friday, 21 Jan 2005 19:26)


Depending on what edition you have of The Name of the Rose, you might have an apendix where Eco explain some of the most difficult elements of his novel. When the book was first published it did not have that appendix (which came out as a separate little book), but I saw the other day in a bookstore that the latest edition has it. Things like what "post-modernism" means and how it relates to his story and the origin of some motives, of the plot, are all explained there.

>>By victorsans   (Friday, 21 Jan 2005 19:32)

BTW, here: there is an interesting book. I have only read the reviews, but it looks as if it might be what you are looking for.

>>By victorsans   (Friday, 21 Jan 2005 19:37)

Eco is one of my favourite writers: I've read everything he's written that I have been able to lay my hands on and I almost alway enjoy what I read. That is not to say that I don't have favourites: 'In the Name of the Rose' is superb and works on so many levels at the same time that it is breathtaking: I re-read it on several occasions and always discover something else - an oblique reference, another witty anachronism, etc - that I always come away with a little more insight into the work. I find it amusing that he actually tells us who 'dunnit' and why in the first chapter but we have to read the rest of the novel to realise it.

'Foucault's Pendulum is also one of my favourites - once again there is so much in there that re-reading is always worthwhile. One thing I found disturbing about reading it was that I caught myself applying the same technique as his protagonists in drawing ostensibly unrelated occurences together: it demonstated to me just how powerful the mindset of the conspiracy theorist is. I also loved the way he incorporates some of the more notorious conspiracy theories into the story to hilarious effect: Bacon meeting the Golem of Prague, for example.

I found 'The Island of the Day Before' less satisfying and 'Baudilino' somewhat disappointing - but i'm yet to re-read those two as yet so I might revise my opinion when do.

I've also read a lot of his non-fiction work: 'Travels in Hyperreality' is fascinating, 'Kant and the Playpus' is somewhat heavy going but worthwhile, 'Five Moral Pieces' 'Serendipities', 'How to Travel with a Salmon' and 'Misreading' all full of interesting ideas, philosphical posers, etc.

I've just started reading 'The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana' and it's promising. One of the most exciting things about his work is that you never know what to expect on the next page. I also love the way you always get to take something away from his work: there is always a lot left to think about.

>>By Sarcophilus   (Sunday, 5 Mar 2006 05:37)

The chronicles of 'How to Travel with a Salmon' are definitely amongst the most hilarious things i've ever read.

>>By obsidiana   (Monday, 12 Mar 2007 12:39)

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