The Open Work

The Open Work

by Umberto Eco
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

More than twenty years after its original appearance in Italian, The Open Work remains significant for its powerful concept of "openness"--the artist's decision to leave arrangements of some constituents of a work to the public or to chance--and for its striking anticipation of two major themes of contemporary literary theory: the element of multiplicity

…  See more details below

Overview

More than twenty years after its original appearance in Italian, The Open Work remains significant for its powerful concept of "openness"--the artist's decision to leave arrangements of some constituents of a work to the public or to chance--and for its striking anticipation of two major themes of contemporary literary theory: the element of multiplicity and plurality in art, and the insistence on literary response as an interactive process between reader and text. The questions Umberto Eco raises, and the answers he suggests, are intertwined in the continuing debate on literature, art, and culture in general.

This entirely new edition, edited for the English-language audience with the approval of Eco himself, includes an authoritative introduction by David Robey that explores Eco's thought at the period of The Open Work, prior to his absorption in semiotics. The book now contains key essays on Eco's mentor Luigi Pareyson, on television and mass culture, and on the politics of art. Harvard University Press will publish separately and simultaneously the extended study of James Joyce that was originally part of The Open Work, entitled The Aesthetics of Chaosmos: The Middle Ages of James Joyce. The Open Work explores a set of issues in aesthetics that remain central to critical theory, and does so in a characteristically vivid style. Eco's convincing manner of presenting ideas and his instinct for the lively example are threaded compellingly throughout. This book is at once a major treatise in modern aesthetics and an excellent introduction to Eco's thought.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection of newly translated essays presents Eco's response to the aesthetics of Benedetto Croce, which have had considerable influence in Italian thought for several decades. Eco's idea of ``open'' works of art, those that ``have in common . . . the artist's decision to leave the arrangement of some of their constituents either to the public or to chance'' is challenging and will disturb traditionalists. Nevertheless, as with his other books, Eco writes insightfully and forcefully, and the variety of subjects tackled here is illuminating, ranging from language and communication in general, to television and mass culture. Highly recommended for academic libraries and informed readers.-- Terry Skeats, Bishop's Univ. Lib., Lennoxville, Quebec

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674639768
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
04/20/2006
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Umberto Eco is Professor Emeritus at the University of Bologna and is the author of many books, including Foucault’s Pendulum.

Brief Biography

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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >