By Umberto Eco
During this choice of essays and addresses added over the process his illustrious profession, Umberto Eco seeks "to comprehend the chemistry of [his] passion" for the note. From musings on Ptolemy and "the strength of the false" to reflections at the experimental writing of Borges and Joyce, Eco's luminous intelligence and encyclopedic wisdom are on remarkable show all through. And while he unearths his personal pursuits and superstitions, his authorial anxieties and fears, one appears like a mystery sharer within the backyard of literature to which he so usually alludes.
Remarkably available and unfailingly stimulating, this assortment shows the variety of pursuits and the intensity of data that experience made Eco one of many world's top writers.
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Extra info for On Literature
American writers ought to stand and live in the margins, and be more dangerous. Writers in repressive societies are considered dangerous. ’’43 As if to emphasize this point, Mao II has the poet Jean-Claude Julien held hostage by a terrorist group. Gray, who is being recruited to secure Julien’s release, defines the role of the writer in terms similar to DeLillo’s. Through writing, authors ‘‘reply to power and beat back . . fear,’’ Gray says (M 200). Although one should be wary of too closely identifying an author with his character, Gray often seems to be a stand-in for his creator.
DeLillo’s recycling of both high literature and popular fiction and his defamiliarizing of specialized languages (of, for example, advertising in Americana , pop music in Great Jones Street , sport in End Zone , mathematics in Ratner’s Star) might therefore be read not as mere blank pastiche but as a deliberate foregrounding of the way that all experience is constructed through discourse. 26 37 PETER KNIGHT There are, finally, other ways of seeing how DeLillo’s novels might open up spaces of possibility rather than merely giving in to a totalized vision of multinational capitalism.
John Dos Passos, The 42nd Parallel (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2000), p. xiv. 13. 2 (2006), pp. 183–4. 14. Mark Osteen, American Magic and Dread: Don DeLillo’s Dialogue with Culture (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), pp. 276–7. 15. See, for example, pages 17, 89, 173, 185, 289, 314, 408, 465, 540–2, 575, 577, 707, and 825. 16. E. M. Forster, Howards End (1910) (New York: Vintage, 1989), p. 195. 17. Morley, ‘‘Excavating Underworld,’’ pp. 178–9. 18. , ‘‘Introduction,’’ New Essays on ‘‘White Noise’’ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), p.