Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Name of the New Eco Book

Umberto Eco’s new book, "Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism," is a series of essays which first appeared in the Italian press. Eco discusses basically anything and everything of cultural relevance.

Some of the topics he analyzes are the European Union, TV ads, cultural globalization, the hype behind Harry Potter, and of course, "The Da Vinci Code."

What marks Eco, I find, is his ability to deal with popular culture as comfortably as he does with his own research areas in the Middle Ages.

Most importantly, he views popular culture as significant and worthy of a close, academic look.

Definitely, a must-read.

graph per B&N


Anonymous said...

What did you think of Name of the Rose, the movie?

B.R. said...

I thought it was good, overall. The casting of the monks was really appropriate. Especially the 'babel' monk, the speaker of many languages but master of none.

Maggie said...

I think the movie pales in comparison with the richness of the book. The depiction of the library was the magical point in the viewing process for me.

As for Eco, I agree with Brikena regarding his amazing ability to cogently critique both high and low culture at once. Tackling semiotics to porn to children's literature to current politics is mind-blowing. Read his essay about trying to fit in academic research, writing and teaching along with international requests to lecture and present, added to writing best-selling fiction is eye-opening to those sitting around watching the latest "Nip/Tuck." Tempus fugit.

B.R. said...

Tempus fugit, indeed. The main reason I relate to Eco is because of the ability he has to be 'bilingual' if you will, i.e., he manages to decode academia and pop culture with equal ease. Thanks for your comment!