Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco : Philosophy, Semiotics and the Work of Fiction

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Description

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the work and thought of Umberto Eco - one of the most important writers in Europe today.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text | 208 pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Polity Press
  • United Kingdom
  • 0745665934
  • 9780745665931

About Michael Caesar

Michael Caesar is Professor of Italian and Head of Italian Studies at the University of Birmingham.
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Review quote

-It is a full, clear and authoritative account of Eco's work, with an emphasis on his development as a theorist and in particular his semiotic theory. But it includes a lively discussion of Eco's novels, which teases out their links with the theory most effectively. It shows the remarkable range and coherence of Eco as a writer, and is notably interesting on the ways in which his ideas have evolved in response to a changing cultural environment. Rich in details, cool, well-paced and incisive, it provides an excellent introduction to, as well as a sympathetic critique of, Eco the thinker.- David Robey, Department of Italian Studies, Reading University -This wonderfully lucid and thorough exposition of Eco's major works will be indispensable to scholars and students alike. Michael Caesar explores the interconnectedness of the 'theoretical' and 'narrative' writings with analytical rigour, balancing appreciation with careful criticism. Caesar makes brilliant use of his own reading of the works to discuss the 'role of the reader', showing the limits as well as the possibilities in Eco's approach to texts.- Robert Lumley, Director of the Centre for Italian Studies, University College, London "It is a full, clear and authoritative account of Eco's work, with an emphasis on his development as a theorist and in particular his semiotic theory. But it includes a lively discussion of Eco's novels, which teases out their links with the theory most effectively. It shows the remarkable range and coherence of Eco as a writer, and is notably interesting on the ways in which his ideas have evolved in response to a changing cultural environment. Rich in details, cool, well-paced and incisive, it provides an excellent introduction to, as well as a sympathetic critique of, Eco the thinker." David Robey, Department of Italian Studies, Reading University "This wonderfully lucid and thorough exposition of Eco's major works will be indispensable to scholars and students alike. Michael Caesar explores the interconnectedness of the 'theoretical' and 'narrative' writings with analytical rigour, balancing appreciation with careful criticism. Caesar makes brilliant use of his own reading of the works to discuss the 'role of the reader', showing the limits as well as the possibilities in Eco's approach to texts." Robert Lumley, Director of the Centre for Italian Studies, University College, London
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Table of contents

Acknowledgement ix Note on References x Introduction 1 1 Form, Interpretation and the Open Work 6 On form and interpretation: from Croce to Pareyson 6 Art and rationality 10 The appearance of Opera aperta 15 The poetics of the open work 18 Beyond `openness' 23 2 A Critical View of Culture: Mass Communications, Politics and the Avant-garde 28 The role of the avant-garde 29 Mass communications and theories of mass culture 37 Television and semiotic guerrilla war 43 Openness and structure 47 3 Introducing the Study of Signs 54 Signals and sense 55 Ambiguity, self-reflexivity and the aesthetic message 64 The critique of iconism 67 Some provisional conclusions on the aesthetic message 69 4 A Theory of Semiotics 76 From La struttura assente to A Theory of Semiotics 76 Communication, code and signification 81 Sign and sign-function 83 Sign production, iconism and the aesthetic message (again) 90 5 Semiotics Bounded and Unbound 100 The boundaries of semiotics 102 The dynamics of semiosis 111 6 Theory and Fiction 120 Readers and worlds Texts 120 7 Secrets, Paranoia and Critical Reading 145 8 Kant, the Platypus and the Horizon 162 Notes 171 Select Bibliography 184 Index 193
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