On Literature  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

On Literature (2003) is a book by Umberto Eco.

From the publisher:

Italian literary theorist and novelist Umberto Eco includes nine essays in this title concerning: the general significance of literature; major authors of the Western canon; the poetic qualities of Dante's "Paradiso"; the style of the "Communist Manifesto"; Joyce's views on language; and more



On Some Functions of Literature

A Reading of the Paradiso

On the Style of The Communist Manifesto

The Mists of Valois

Wilde: Paradox and Aphorism

On Oscar Wilde, aphorisms and paradoxes

People would be happier if kings were philosophers and philosophers were kings (Plutarch).

If I wished to punish a province, I would have it governed by philosophers. (Frederick the Great)

Stanisław Jerzy Lec

A Portrait of the Artist as Bachelor

Between La Mancha and Babel

Borges and My Anxiety of Influence

"I made a list of titles, among which I liked best Blitiri ('blitiri,' like 'babazuf,' is a term used by the late Scholastics to indicate a word devoid of meaning)" --Eco on titles for The Name of the Rose

On Camporesi: Blood, Body, Life

On Symbolism

On Style

Les Sémaphores sous la Pluie

The Flaws in the Form

Intertextual Irony and Levels of Reading

The Poetics and Us


"the fundamental problem of all philosophies of language, namely, whether metaphor is a departure from underlying literalness or the birthplace of every degree zero of writing."

American Myth in Three Anti-American Generations

The Power of Falsehood

How I Write

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