Travels in hyper reality : essays

by Umberto Eco

Other authorsWilliam Weaver (Translator)
Hardcover, 1986

Status

Available

Publication

San Diego : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, c1986.

Description

Eco displays in these essays the same wit, learning, and lively intelligence that delighted readers of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum. His range is wide, and his insights are acute, frequently ironic, and often downright funny. Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book

User reviews

LibraryThing member iayork
Amorphous Lump o' Eco: Umberto Eco is clearly a genius - his fictional works testify to that. I assume his reputation as a semiologist is well earned (since I know little about the subject beyond what Walker Percy digested).Unfortunately, I found "Travels in Hyperreality" to be a hastily pasted
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collection of observations and commentary that is not really worthy of Eco's growing portfolio. The book was sometimes interesting, but dry and tasteless. I thought the whole lot of it could be encapsulated in Eco's strange observations concerning "the wearing of blue jeans." That is, if you're really, really, really into Eco and want to soak up everything he says, then this book will not disappoint. If, on the other hand, you have limited time on your hands, then Eco's fictional works, or "Search for the Perfect Language," are far better temporal investments.
Perhaps I didn't get it, or perhaps it was a mistake reading much of it in a bar in Santa Clara, but I would assert that this is only a book for the Eco purist.
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LibraryThing member edwinbcn
Occasional writings may be very readable on or around the occasion i.c. or in a given time period, but collections of such writings often result in tedious reads one has to drag through. Travels in hyperreality by Umberto Eco is such a collection of dead wood, that someone pasted an enticing new
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title on. A selection of readings from the 70s and 80s, this volume did me nothing.
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LibraryThing member Othemts
The only thing I really understand from this book is that Eco knows he's smarter than the rest of us. But does have to be so snarky about it?
LibraryThing member georgeslacombe
I've read the portuguese translation of this book. Excellent, should be mandatory in all graduation courses.
LibraryThing member aegossman
I thought that Eco might be something like buckminster fuller. Apart from referencing him- not so much. Seemed a bit pompous for me. But I'll keep it and read it again in three years and then if I still think he is pompous then I'll ditch it.

LibraryThing member stravinsky
i liked the part about his blue jeans
LibraryThing member 064
The first thing to say about this text, is that it is really a series of unrelated polemics, op-eds, musings and intellectual ponderings that would have done better to be separated out and sold in like collections, not shoved together and bound like spouses' unknown partners thrown together at a
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high school reunion.
I mention that first because whilst Eco does elude to the book being an eclectic mix, it is probably a little more eclectic and a little less cohesive than one might have hoped for. Perhaps this is testament to his versatility or perhaps it is testament to the greed of publishers - I assume the latter. I couldn't help but feel that the beginning of this book was a significantly less desirable attempt to cast the Euro-philosopher's eye Westward with rather dire results.

Perhaps the greatest charm of this work is the Italian philosopher's weltanschauung (as opposed to the French philosophers'). As per fashion, alcohol, car design and architecture, so philosophy presents itself differently in the mind. Eco seemed rather more human and witty at times, something Baudrillard could never be accused of, and this resonates a certain sympathetic tone in the reader's chest.

One very small downside to this text is just how dated it is, and whilst in purely philosophical terms that isn't a problem, in historical discourse it is. Clearly Eco was commenting on events fresh in the lives of late '60s, '70s Italians and that rather comes across like reading an old newspaper you found stuffed in the wall. The work then becomes something of a historical curiosity rather than a work of philosophy, which is a shame.

All in all 'Travels in Hyperreality' represents a noble spoke on the wheel of postmodernist discourse and theory and without it we would, no doubt be worse off.
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Language

Barcode

1978
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