Inventing the Enemy covers a wide range of topics on which Umberto Eco has written and lectured over the last ten years, from the discussion of ideas that have inspired his earlier novels - exploring lost islands, mythical realms, and the medieval world in the process - to a disquisition on the theme that runs through his most recent novel, The Prague Cemetery, that every country needs an enemy, and if it doesn't have one, must invent it. Eco's lively new collection examines topics as diverse as St Thomas Aquinas's notions about the soul of an unborn child, indignant reviews of James Joyce's Ulysses by fascist journalists of the 1920s and 1930s, censorship, violence and Wikileaks.
These are essays full of passion, curiosity, and obsessions by one of the world's most esteemed scholars and critically acclaimed, bestselling novelists.
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Eco's writing has a unique ability to dance on the page and to resonate in the mind - Daily Telegraph
For the sheer depth and clarity of his learning and wisdom, Eco has no living rival - Harpers and Queen
Eco's greatest virtue might be said to lie in his ability to clarify the exact nature of our present perplexities...lucid, logical and always firmly on the side of civilisation - TLS
Eco is one of the most influential thinkers of our time - LA Times
Thought provoking… nuanced, accessible prose… the collection amply shows off Eco’s sophisticated, agile mind and will undoubtedly bring pleasure to readers familiar with his worlds while enriching those willing to learn about them - Publisher's Weekly
This selection underscores the writer’s profound erudition, lively wit, and passion for ideas of all shapes and sizes... Eco’s pleasure in such explorations is obvious and contagious
[A] philosophical football match that encompasses myth, literature and history... Discursive, grandiose, witty stuff from the quintessential savvy professor - Monocle
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About the Author
Umberto Eco has written works of fiction, literary criticism and philosophy. His first novel, The Name of the Rose, was a major international bestseller. His other works include Foucault's Pendulum, The Island of the Day Before, Baudolino, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana and The Prague Cemetery, along with many brilliant collections of essays.