On Literature  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

On Literature (2003) is a book by Umberto Eco.

From the publisher:

Italian literary theorist and novelist Umberto Eco includes nine essays in this title concerning: the general significance of literature; major authors of the Western canon; the poetic qualities of Dante's "Paradiso"; the style of the "Communist Manifesto"; Joyce's views on language; and more

Contents

TOC

On Some Functions of Literature

A Reading of the Paradiso

On the Style of The Communist Manifesto

The Mists of Valois

Wilde: Paradox and Aphorism

On Oscar Wilde, aphorisms and paradoxes

People would be happier if kings were philosophers and philosophers were kings (Plutarch).

If I wished to punish a province, I would have it governed by philosophers. (Frederick the Great)

Stanisław Jerzy Lec

A Portrait of the Artist as Bachelor

Between La Mancha and Babel

Borges and My Anxiety of Influence

"I made a list of titles, among which I liked best Blitiri ('blitiri,' like 'babazuf,' is a term used by the late Scholastics to indicate a word devoid of meaning)" --Eco on titles for The Name of the Rose

On Camporesi: Blood, Body, Life

On Symbolism

On Style

Les Sémaphores sous la Pluie

The Flaws in the Form

Intertextual Irony and Levels of Reading

The Poetics and Us

Excerpt:

"the fundamental problem of all philosophies of language, namely, whether metaphor is a departure from underlying literalness or the birthplace of every degree zero of writing."

American Myth in Three Anti-American Generations

The Power of Falsehood

How I Write




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