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Six Walks in the Fictional Woods
     

Six Walks in the Fictional Woods

by Umberto Eco
 

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In Six Walks in the Fictional Woods Umberto Eco shares with us his Secret Life as a reader—his love for MAD magazine, for Scarlett O'Hara, for the nineteenth-century French novelist Nerval's Sylvie, for Little Red Riding Hood, Agatha Christie, Agent 007 and all his ladies. We see, hear, and feel Umberto Eco, the passionate reader who has gotten lost

Overview

In Six Walks in the Fictional Woods Umberto Eco shares with us his Secret Life as a reader—his love for MAD magazine, for Scarlett O'Hara, for the nineteenth-century French novelist Nerval's Sylvie, for Little Red Riding Hood, Agatha Christie, Agent 007 and all his ladies. We see, hear, and feel Umberto Eco, the passionate reader who has gotten lost over and over again in the woods, loved it, and come back to tell the tale, The Tale of Tales. Eco tells us how fiction works, and he also tells us why we love fiction so much. This is no deconstructionist ripping the veil off the Wizard of Oz to reveal his paltry tricks, but the Wizard of Art himself inviting us to join him up at his level, the Sorcerer inviting us to become his apprentice.

Editorial Reviews

The Atlantic
Erudite, wide-ranging, and slyly humorous...The literary examples Eco employs range from Dante to Dumas, from Sterne to Spillane. His text is thought-provoking, often outright funny, and full of surprising juxtapositions.
Los Angeles Times Book Review

Reading [these chapters] is indeed like wandering in the woods...They might in fact be called, more prosaically, "How to Be a Good Reader," for Eco, in his incredibly manipulative way, has you eating out of his hand by the end of them.
— Susan Salter Reynolds

Boston Globe

The dim boundary between the imaginary and the real is Eco's home terrain...He is a foxy gamesman, using enchanted woods as a flexible image for narrative texts, and mustering a playful array of allusions from The Three Musketeers to the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
— Robert Taylor

Independent

[This] dashing and stylish series of six lectures...displays Umberto Eco's enviable ability to transform arid semiotics and narrative theory into intellectual entertainment.
— John O'Reilly

Los Angeles Times Book Review - Susan Salter Reynolds
Reading [these chapters] is indeed like wandering in the woods...They might in fact be called, more prosaically, "How to Be a Good Reader," for Eco, in his incredibly manipulative way, has you eating out of his hand by the end of them.
Boston Globe - Robert Taylor
The dim boundary between the imaginary and the real is Eco's home terrain...He is a foxy gamesman, using enchanted woods as a flexible image for narrative texts, and mustering a playful array of allusions from The Three Musketeers to the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Independent - John O'Reilly
[This] dashing and stylish series of six lectures...displays Umberto Eco's enviable ability to transform arid semiotics and narrative theory into intellectual entertainment.
Library Journal
Eco's six lectures in Harvard's prestigious ``Charles Eliot Norton Lectures'' invite readers to reexamine how they read and how much is expected of them. Eco argues that any actual reader is an empirical reader with a specific personal reading context. As such, each individual reader is only part of the model reader, the author's composite imagined listener. But the individual author, always distinct from the narrator, even a first-person narrator, is also only part of the model author whose stylistic strategies help all empirical readers infer what the characteristics of the model reader are and, circling back, what those of the model author are. Using entertaining anecdotes from serious and popular fiction (Dante, Poe, Nerval, Calvino), cinema, and journalism, Eco ( Misreadings , LJ 5/1/92) scales back the systematizing of his Seventies semiotics and makes reading a commonsense activity, both challenging and titillating. For comprehensive collections in literature.-- Marilyn Gaddis Rose, SUNY-Binghamton

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674810518
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
07/28/1998
Series:
Charles Eliot Norton Lectures Series , #45
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,295,438
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

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

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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