November 27, 2003 – 9:25 pm
As far as I’m concerned, any new article or text by Umberto Eco is noteworthy.
If you’re unfamiliar with his work, he’s the guy who wrote Foucault’s Pendulum (still my favourite contemporary novel), The Name of the Rose (later a film with Sean Connery and a young Christian Slater), The Island of the Day Before, and the recent Baudolino (only just now out in paperback locally – and highly recommended). He’s an Italian professor and the leading light in the field of semiotics (the study of signs in language). Every now and then there’s also the odd collection of essays and articles (eg: Kant’s Platypus and Travels in Hyper-reality). Smart guy.
He also did a very clever humorous piece that was circulated widely on the net about 4 or 5 years back claiming that Macs were Catholic and PCs were Protestant.
Well, he recently presented a lecture that’s been reprinted in full online by Al-Ahram, concerning the future of the book.
It’s a fairly long article that by its very nature as online text proves some of the points that he’s trying to make (the readability of the book over that of the online text). But he raises some fascinating ideas about the nature of memory, and (this appears to be a recurring theme) nods towards a media ecology view.
Definitely worth a read. Or at least an attempt.