“It was a beautiful story. Too bad no one will find out about it.”
“You surely don’t believe that you’re the only writer of stories in this world. Sooner or later, someone — a greater liar than Baudolino — will tell it.” — Umberto Eco, Baudolino
Wonderful, sometimes exasperating, writer. I loved his newspaper columns and will always be grateful to him for How To Travel With A Salmon: and Other Essays. And for his wonderful 1994 essay on why the Mac is a Catholic machine, and the IBM PC a Protestant one. The NYT obit here
1984 photograph by Rob Bogaerts
Anthropology, authenticity, medieval aesthetics, the media, literary theory, conspiracy theory, semiotics, ugliness: the late Umberto Eco, as anyone who’s read a piece of his bibliography (which includes such intellectually serious but thoroughly entertaining novels as The Name of the Rose, Foucault’s Pendulum, and the still-new Numero Zero) can attest, had the widest possible range of interests. That infinite-seeming list extended even to comic strips, and especially Charles Schulz’s Peanuts (which did tend to fascinate literati, even those of very different traditions).
The novelist and cultural theorist Umberto Eco has died at his home, according to a statement his family gave to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. He was 84.
People with certain professions tend to marry others with a given profession.Adam Pearce and Dorothy Gambrell for Bloomberg Business were curious.
When it comes to falling in love, it’s not just fate that brings people together—sometimes it’s their jobs. We scanned data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey—which covers 3.5 million households—to find out how people are pairing up.
Eco’s passing adds some poignancy to a video he recorded just last year, on behalf of The Louisiana Channel, a media outlet based, of all places, in Denmark. In the clip above, Eco gives some counsel to aspiring writers: Keep your ego in check, and your ambitions, realistic. Put in the time and the hard work, and don’t shoot for the Nobel Prize in Literature straight out of the gate. That, Eco says, kills every literary career. And remember that writing is “10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” They’re truisms–you discover after spending decades as a writer–that turn out to be true. That confirmation is one of the gifts he leaves behind.
Umberto Eco, the Italian philosopher, writer and semiotics professor, is dead at 84, reports the BBC.
Adam J Calhoun wrote on Medium: “I wondered what did my favorite books look like without words. Can you tell them apart or are they all a-mush? In fact, they can be quite distinct. Take my all-time favorite book, Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner. It is dense prose stuffed with parentheticals. When placed next to a novel with more simplified prose — Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy — it is a stark difference (see above).”
On Friday, the mayor’s office in Monroeville, Alabama, announced that Harper Lee, author of the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” and its controversy-plagued 2015 sequel “Go Set A Watchman,” had died at age 89. A look at the numbers behind Lee’s greatest work bear out its prominent place in American culture.
“Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it.”
That’s how Scout Finch describes the steadfastly Southern setting of Harper Lee’s beloved novel, “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Maycomb is a fictional city, but it’sbased on Lee’s birthplace and childhood home of Monroeville, in Monroe County, Alabama, where Lee died on Friday.
Monroe County was the perfect model for the setting of the Depression-era novel. According to 1930 census data, farmers like the novel’s Cunningham family made up 74 percent of the county.18 Monroe was about half black, half white, but whites were better off by a variety of a measures. While Scout’s father Atticus read to her every night, 25.8 percent of the black population was illiterate. Only 3 percent of the white population couldn’t read.
Tagged in: 1980 in literature, A Brief History of Time, Alessandria, Alternate history, Baudolino, Catholic Church, Foucault's Pendulum, Harper Lee, Matteo Renzi, Milan, Sean Connery, Silvio Berlusconi, The Island of the Day Before, The Name of the Rose, The Prague Cemetery, Thomas Aquinas, umberto eco, University of Bologna