The Limits of Interpretation

The Limits of Interpretation

by Umberto Eco
     
 

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"Eco’s essays read like letters from a friend, trying to share something he loves with someone he likes.... Read this brilliant, enjoyable, and possibly revolutionary book." —George J. Leonard, San Francisco Review of Books

"... a wealth of insight and instruction." —J. O. Tate, National Review

"If anyone can make [semiotics] clear, it's

Overview

"Eco’s essays read like letters from a friend, trying to share something he loves with someone he likes.... Read this brilliant, enjoyable, and possibly revolutionary book." —George J. Leonard, San Francisco Review of Books

"... a wealth of insight and instruction." —J. O. Tate, National Review

"If anyone can make [semiotics] clear, it's Professor Eco.... Professor Eco's theme deserves respect; language should be used to communicate more easily without literary border guards." —The New York Times

"The limits of interpretation mark the limits of our world. Umberto Eco's new collection of essays touches deftly on such matters." —Times Literary Supplement

"It is a careful and challenging collection of essays that broach topics rarely considered with any seriousness by literary theorists." —Diacritics

Umberto Eco focuses here on what he once called "the cancer of uncontrolled interpretation"—that is, the belief that many interpreters have gone too far in their domination of texts, thereby destroying meaning and the basis for communication.

Editorial Reviews

Herbert Mitgang
Admirers of Mr. Eco's two original novels will look in vain for the same joy of fictional daring in "The Limits of Interpretation"...The essays in "The Limits of Interpretation" discuss television serials, archeology, Joyce's "Finnegans Wake," Pirandello's plays, art, fakes and forgeries. His observations on literature and television are particularly informative...Professor Eco devises a Model Reader who must have a double perception. He calls the first one naive and the second more appreciative...The title itself, "The Limits of Interpretation," contains the most important statement in the book. Professor Eco is saying that there is too much interpretation, that instead of sticking with the actual text, with an author's own words, some academics have gone much too far and imposed themselves upon a work. By calling for constraints, Professor Eco is conceding that the experts often exceed their authority and ability...Professor Eco's theme deserves respect; language should be used to communicate more easily without literary border guards. Some interpreters have made themselves more important than the people or things they are interpreting. -- New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253208699
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
01/01/1991
Series:
Advances in Semiotics Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.89(d)

Meet the Author

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Bologna, Italy
Date of Birth:
January 5, 1932
Date of Death:
February 19, 2016
Place of Birth:
Alessandria, Italy
Education:
Ph.D., University of Turin, 1954

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