The Name of the Rose

      Umberto Eco
The Name of the Rose

The year is 1327. Benedictines in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”

Read online

    Chronicles of a Liquid Society

      Umberto Eco
Chronicles of a Liquid Society

A posthumous collection of essays about the modern world from one of Europe’s greatest, and best-selling, literary figures

Umberto Eco was an international cultural superstar. In this, his last collection, the celebrated essayist and novelist observes the changing world around him with irrepressible curiosity and profound wisdom. He sees with fresh eyes the upheaval in ideological values, the crises in politics, and the unbridled individualism that have become the backdrop of our lives—a “liquid” society in which it’s not easy to find a polestar, though stars and starlets abound.

In these pieces, written for his regular column in L’Espresso magazine, Eco brings his dazzling erudition and keen sense of the everyday to bear on topics such as popular culture and politics, being seen, conspiracies, the old and the young, new technologies, mass media, racism, and good manners. It is a final gift to his reader—astute, witty, and illuminating.

Read online

    From the Tree to the Labyrinth: Historical Studies on the Sign and Interpretation

      Umberto Eco
From the Tree to the Labyrinth: Historical Studies on the Sign and Interpretation

The way we create and organize knowledge is the theme of From the Tree to the Labyrinth, a major achievement by one of the world's foremost thinkers on language and interpretation. Umberto Eco begins by arguing that our familiar system of classification by genus and species derives from the Neo-Platonist idea of a "tree of knowledge." He then moves to the idea of the dictionary, which—like a tree whose trunk anchors a great hierarchy of branching categories—orders knowledge into a matrix of definitions. In Eco's view, though, the dictionary is too rigid: it turns knowledge into a closed system. A more flexible organizational scheme is the encyclopedia, which—instead of resembling a tree with finite branches—offers a labyrinth of never-ending pathways. Presenting knowledge as a network of interlinked relationships, the encyclopedia sacrifices humankind's dream of possessing absolute knowledge, but in compensation we gain the freedom to pursue an infinity of new connections and meanings.

Moving effortlessly from analyses of Aristotle and James Joyce to the philosophical difficulties of telling dogs from cats, Eco demonstrates time and again his inimitable ability to bridge ancient, medieval, and modern modes of thought. From the Tree to the Labyrinth is a brilliant illustration of Eco's longstanding argument that problems of interpretation can be solved only in historical context.

Read online

    Numero zero

      Umberto Eco
Numero zero

Una redazione raccogliticcia che prepara un quotidiano destinato, più che all’informazione, al ricatto, alla macchina del fango, a bassi servizi per il suo editore. Un redattore paranoico che, aggirandosi per una Milano allucinata (o allucinato per una Milano normale), ricostruisce la storia di cinquant’anni sullo sfondo di un piano sulfureo costruito intorno al cadavere putrefatto di uno pseudo Mussolini. E nell’ombra Gladio, la P2, l’assassinio di papa Luciani, il colpo di stato di Junio Valerio Borghese, la Cia, i terroristi rossi manovrati dagli uffici affari riservati, vent’anni di stragi e di depistaggi, un insieme di fatti inspiegabili che paiono inventati sino a che una trasmissione della BBC non prova che sono veri, o almeno che sono ormai confessati dai loro autori. E poi un cadavere che entra in scena all’improvviso nella più stretta e malfamata via di Milano. Un’esile storia d’amore tra due protagonisti perdenti per natura, un ghost writer fallito e una ragazza inquietante che per aiutare la famiglia ha abbandonato l’università e si è specializzata nel gossip su affettuose amicizie, ma ancora piange sul secondo movimento della Settima di Beethoven.
Un perfetto manuale per il cattivo giornalismo che il lettore via via non sa se inventato o semplicemente ripreso dal vivo. Una storia che si svolge nel 1992 in cui si prefigurano tanti misteri e follie del ventennio successivo, proprio mentre i due protagonisti pensano che l’incubo sia finito. Una vicenda amara e grottesca che si svolge in Europa dalla fine della guerra ai giorni nostri.

Read online

    The Island of the Day Before

      Umberto Eco
The Island of the Day Before

After a violent storm in the South Pacific in the year 1643, Roberto della Griva finds himself shipwrecked-on a ship. Swept from the Amaryllis, he has managed to pull himself aboard the Daphne, anchored in the bay of a beautiful island. The ship is fully provisioned, he discovers, but the crew is missing.

As Roberto explores the different cabinets in the hold, he remembers chapters from his youth: Ferrante, his imaginary evil brother; the siege of Casale, that meaningless chess move in the Thirty Years' War in which he lost his father and his illusions; and the lessons given him on Reasons of State, fencing, the writing of love letters, and blasphemy.

In this fascinating, lyrical tale, Umberto Eco tells of a young dreamer searching for love and meaning; and of a most amazing old Jesuit who, with his clocks and maps, has plumbed the secrets of longitudes, the four moons of Jupiter, and the Flood.

Read online

    Inventing the Enemy: Essays

      Umberto Eco
Inventing the Enemy: Essays

Inventing the Enemy covers a wide range of topics on which Umberto Eco has written and lectured for the past ten years, from a disquisition on the theme that runs through his most recent novel, The Prague Cemetery—every country needs an enemy, and if it doesn’t have one, must invent it—to a discussion of ideas that have inspired his earlier novels. Along the way, he takes us on an exploration of lost islands, mythical realms, and the medieval world. Eco also sheds light on the indignant reviews of James Joyce’s Ulysses by fascist journalists of the 1920s and 1930s, and provides a lively examination of Saint Thomas Aquinas’s notions about the soul of an unborn child, censorship, violence, and WikiLeaks. These are essays full of passion, curiosity, and obsessions by one of the world’s most esteemed scholars and critically acclaimed, best-selling novelists.

Read online

    How to Travel With a Salmon & Other Essays

      Umberto Eco
How to Travel With a Salmon & Other Essays

'Between a bottle of Epsom salts or one of twenty-year-old cognac, which would you choose? Would you rather spend your vacation with an eighty-year old leper or with Demi Moore? Do you prefer being sprinkled with ferocious red ants or sharing a sleeping compartment with Claudia Schiffer?'

From the celebrated author of The Name of the Rose, here is a dazzling compendium of advice offering the correct answers to these and many other important questions. Tackling topics as diverse as the coffee pot from hell, eating on an aeroplane, how not to use a cellular phone and recognising porn movies, Umberto Eco guides us with all his customary wit and brilliance through the complexities of the modern world.

Read online

    Foucault's Pendulum

      Umberto Eco
Foucault's Pendulum

Foucault's Pendulum is divided into ten segments represented by the ten Sefiroth. The novel is full of esoteric references to the Kabbalah. The title of the book refers to an actual pendulum designed by the French physicist Léon Foucault to demonstrate the rotation of the earth, which has symbolic significance within the novel.

Bored with their work, and after reading too many manuscripts about occult conspiracy theories, three vanity publisher employees (Belbo, Diotallevi and Casaubon) invent their own conspiracy for fun. They call this satirical intellectual game "The Plan," a hoax that connects the medieval Knights Templar with other occult groups from ancient to modern times. This produces a map indicating the geographical point from which all the powers of the earth can be controlled—a point located in Paris, France, at Foucault’s Pendulum. But in a fateful turn the joke becomes all too real.

The three become increasingly obsessed with The Plan, and sometimes forget that it's just a game. Worse still, other conspiracy theorists learn about The Plan, and take it seriously. Belbo finds himself the target of a real secret society that believes he possesses the key to the lost treasure of the Knights Templar.

Orchestrating these and other diverse characters into his multilayered semiotic adventure, Eco has created a superb cerebral entertainment.

Read online

    Misreadings

      Umberto Eco
Misreadings

This is a collection of parodies by the author of The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum. Professor Anouk Ooma of Prince Joseph's Land University addresses his colleagues on recent archaeological findings that shed light on the poetry of Italy before the Explosion, Columbus' landing in the New World is covered by TV reporters and structural analysis of the art of striptease as performed by Lilly Niagara of the Crazy Horse.

Read online

    Baudolino

      Umberto Eco
Baudolino

Der mit allen Wassern der Fabulierkunst gewaschene Schelm Baudolino erzählt uns seine Lebensgeschichte.

Informationen über die historischen Hintergründe zu »Baudolino« finden Sie im Special des Carl Hanser Verlags ...

Konstantinopel brennt! Die prachtvolle Hauptstadt des Byzantinischen Reiches – erobert, geplündert und in Brand gesetzt von den Rittern des Vierten Kreuzzuges. Einer von ihnen ist ein gewisser Baudolino aus dem Piemont. Den Kopf voller Flausen, Phantasien und Lügen, führt er uns durch ein historisches Panorama von überwältigender Breite.

Er erzählt, wie er als 13jähriger Bauernsohn den im Nebel herumirrenden Kaiser Barbarossa aufgabelt, der Gefallen an dem naseweisen Jungen findet und ihn daraufhin adoptiert; wie er den Kaiser auf seinen Italienzügen gegen die aufmüpfigen oberitalienischen Städte begleitet und auf den großen Kreuzzug ins Heilige Land, immer auf der Suche nach dem mythischen Reich des Priesterkönigs Johannes im fernen Orient. Und natürlich wie er, Baudolino, mit seinen aberwitzigen Ideen ganz nebenbei den Lauf der Weltgeschichte lenkt, ob nun bei der Heiligsprechung Karls des Großen 1165 oder bei der Erfindung der Legende der Heiligen Drei Könige, um dem Erzbischof von Köln, Rainald von Dassel, einen überwältigenden Einzug in seine Domkirche zu sichern.

Alles hat Baudolino miterlebt, doch ein Geheimnis kennt nur er ganz allein: Barbarossa, der angeblich im Fluß ertrank, ist mysteriöserweise bereits in der Nacht zuvor ums Leben gekommen. Unfall? Herzversagen? Nein, Mord! Baudolino ahnt, wer der Mörder sein könnte …

Read online