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This essay collection by the revered public intellectual displays his "profound erudition, lively wit, and passion for ideas of all shapes and sizes" (Booklist).
In these fourteen essays, Umberto Eco examines many of the ideas that have inspired his provocative and illuminating fiction. From the title essay-a disquisition of the notion that every country needs an enemy-he takes readers on an exploration of lost islands, mythical realms, and the medieval world. His topics range from indignant reviews of James Joyce's Ulysses by fascist journalists, to an examination of Saint Thomas Aquinas's notions about the soul of an unborn child, to censorship, violence and WikiLeaks. Here are essays full of passion, curiosity, and probing intellect by one of the world's most esteemed scholars and critically acclaimed, best-selling novelists.
"True wit and wisdom coexist with fierce scholarship inside Umberto Eco, a writer who actually knows a thing or two about being truly human." - Buffalo News
UMBERTO ECO is the author of The Prague Cemetery, The Name of the Rose, and numerous collections of essays. Formerly a professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, he is now president of the Scuola Superiore de Studi Umanistici in Bologna.