Serendipities
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Serendipities : Language And Lunacy

3.81 (1,094 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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 centuriesshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 169 x 198 x 14mm | 172g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Impr.
  • 8Col.ill.
  • 0753808781
  • 9780753808788
  • 112,235

About Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco is Professor of Semiotics at the University of Bologna and one of the world's most famous -- and admired -- writers. His is the author of the novels In the Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, Baudolino and The Island of the Day Before.show more

Review quote

"Examines, with wit and elegance, some of the many cases in which a mistaken belief has led to a sound result . . . Delightful."-The Atlantic Monthly "Rich in historical anecdotes . . . Throughout, his treatments are informative, intellectually sophisticated, and thoroughly entertaining."-Library Journalshow more

Rating details

1,094 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 24% (258)
4 43% (467)
3 27% (293)
2 6% (65)
1 1% (11)
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