Umberto Eco – The Philosopher of Signs


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Eco’s essays take as their subject matter poetry, music, and painting in the way that the work’s structure provides the glimpse of a worldview that passes through, rather, the hidden structure that the subject renders manifest. Eco finds his examples from a number of French poets, from Valéry to Verlaine and Mallarmé, for whom naming an object meant eliminating three quarters of a poem’s pleasure, which consists in incremental guesswork and suggested dreams. This poetics of suggestion seeks to keep the work open to its readers’ freedom, and realizes itself thanks to its interpreters’ emotion and imagination. It is the reader who draws from their most intimate recesses a response forged along the path of the mysterious consonances that lure the sensibility and the imagination. Thus work of art harbors within itself a multitude of interpretations.

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Claudia Stancati — Books & Ideas

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