Travels in Hyperreality

Travels in Hyperreality

by Umberto Eco
     
 

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Eco displays in these essays the same wit, learning, and lively intelligence that delighted readers of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum. His range is wide, and his insights are acute, frequently ironic, and often downright funny. Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
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Overview


Eco displays in these essays the same wit, learning, and lively intelligence that delighted readers of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum. His range is wide, and his insights are acute, frequently ironic, and often downright funny. Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
By ``hyperreality'' Eco is alluding to the American ``frantic desire for the almost real,'' the yen for fakes to fill a cultural void. The trenchant title essay analyzes the American psyche as it hops from erotic laser holograms to the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Disneyland. Eco, well known as a novelist (The Name of the Rose, is urbane, detached, elegant and sometimes obscure as an essayist. This uneven collection of newspaper and magazine pieces reflects the Italian scholar's love of the Middle Agesone essay compares American universities to monasteries, another focuses on Thomas Aquinasthough, for the most part, Eco relentlessly analyzes the present. He examines sport as a calculated waste of energy, presents a structuralist critique of Casablanca and offers commentaries on the Red Brigades, credit-card cheats, the religious revival and blue jeans as a latter-day version of knights' armor. (May 22)
Library Journal
This smorgasbord of 26 pieces ultimately focuses on the boundaries of realism as exemplified by the``hyper reality'' of American phenomena like the Madonna Inn, wax museums, San Simeon, theme parks, etc. Though his tone is witty, Eco's purpose remains that of the semiologist. He is concerned about ``the systems of signs that we use to describe the world and tell it to one another,'' and aims both to expose the ``messages'' of political and economic power and of ``the entertainment industry and the revolution industry'' and to show us how to analyze and criticize them. Though these essays are generally entertaining, they lack the originality and punch of Barthes's Mythologies and seem unlikely to find the same popular success as Eco's own The Name of the Rose . Richard Kuczkowski, Dir., Continuing Education, Dominican Coll., Blauvelt, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780156913218
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/28/1990
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
322
Sales rank:
705,566
Product dimensions:
7.98(w) x 5.28(h) x 0.82(d)

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