Namaste from India: UMBERTO ECO

Wednesday, October 04, 2006



Umberto Eco, born January 5, 1932 in Alessandria is an Italian writer of fiction, essays, academic texts, children’s books, and certainly one of the finest authors of the 20th century. Professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, Eco’s brilliant fiction is known for its playful use of language and symbols, its astonishing array of allusions and references, and clever use of puzzles and narrative inventions.
His perceptive essays on modern culture are filled with a delightful sense of humour and irony. His ideas on semiotics, interpretation, and aesthetics have established him as one of academia’s foremost thinkers.

He teaches semiotics, the ‘scientific’ study of signs, a subject so complex and abstruse that only a few hundred people in the world have mastered its rudiments.
His breadth of knowledge is awe-inspiring : he speaks five modern languages fluently, is perfectly at home with classical Greek and laces his writing with long Latin quotations and obscure scholarly jokes. He is, to put it mildly, a colossus of learning, with the honorary doctorates and government honours to prove it.
Many claim he’s the most intelligent human being alive today.

The original title of a large essay written by Eco in 1975 on the subject of America’s obsession with simulacra and counterfeit reality. It was retitled Travels in Hyperreality in 1986 and included as the central piece in a book by the same title.

His Works :
The Name of the Rose
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Island of the Day Before
The Three Astronauts

His cool quotes :
1. “If I don’t have many things to do, I am lost”.
2. “The author should die once he has finished writing. So as not to trouble the path of the text”.
3. “Lying about the future produces history”.

S#9 AN Khosla Bhawan, IIT Roorkee, Roorkee – India, Oct 3,2006.


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