4 Answers

  1. Umberto Eco is a medieval historian, it is difficult for me to judge, I had little interest in the Middle Ages and did not read his historical works, but he wrote a lot of interesting things about literature, art and philosophy of modern society, which in general became famous. And of course, he is the author of the acclaimed books The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum.

    His special contribution to the development of ideas of semiotics, to which he devoted his novels, in particular my favorite – “The Name of the Rose”. The novel is interesting for its deceptive structure, it has the form of a detective story, but under a thin layer of detective stories, a layer of the history of medieval Europe and socio-political processes in it is hidden. And even deeper is the layer of philosophical reasoning. Even the mass reader, having picked up an exciting detective story, with the help of the novel's intertextuality, can get a lot of information that goes beyond the detective format.

    If you generalize and don't go too deep, then Y Eco is a popularizer of science, like Richard Dawkins, only from the humanities.

  2. From what I've seen, Eco has very interesting literary works, at least. Last year I read the book “Six Walks in the literary woods” – this is an excellent work in the humble opinion of a graduate of the Literary Institute (that is, me). As far as I understand from the book, he even teaches some subject close to literary studies at the university.

    I don't know if this can be called a contribution, but for general development, it is quite possible to recommend reading it.

  3. In Russia, Umberto Eco is known primarily as a novelist, but for the European enlightened public, Eco is primarily a scientist (it's all about translating his scientific works only after the popularity of novels with the Russian-speaking reader).

    Eco's works on semiotics, medieval and Modern aesthetics are well-known. In these areas, he made a significant contribution in his time.

    Of course, it is difficult to call Ivf a Scientist (with a capital letter), but his scientific achievements are undoubtedly valuable.

  4. First of all, Umberto Eco is a postmodern literary theorist and an outstanding semiotic. His novels are vivid representatives of intellectual prose. To a greater extent, Eco created (precisely created) his novels as a scientist, not a writer. Their structure is multidimensional and has metanarrative properties. Eco collects her novels like a designer, drawing elements from the aforementioned transdiscursive field of knowledge. The work is a field for the game between the writer and the reader (moreover, Eco divides the “writer” and “reader” into exemplary and empirical ones). And Eco's novels are a terrific example of this postmodern game. The writer hides under several layers a certain allusion or reference, which the reader/literary critic must unravel or find in order to continue following the book's route. Eco perfectly implements the ideas of postmodern and poststructuralist aesthetics. According to this aesthetic, the writer has nothing more to create, nothing new to write, but only to draw structures and details from the experience of the past. As Eco himself wrote in “Notes in the Margins of The Rose Garden”: “The postmodern position reminds me of the position of a man in love with a very educated woman. He knows that he can't say “I love you madly” to her, because he knows that she understands (and she knows that he understands) that such phrases are Leala's prerogative. However, there is a way out. He should say, ” As Liala says, I love you madly.” At the same time, he avoids feigned simplicity and directly shows her that he does not have the opportunity to speak in simple terms; and yet he brings to her attention what he was about to bring — that is, that he loves her, but that his love lives in an age of lost simplicity. If a woman is willing to play the same game, she will understand that a declaration of love is still an explanation of love. Neither of the interlocutors is given simplicity, both withstand the onslaught of the past, the onslaught of everything that has been said before, from which there is no escape, both consciously and willingly enter into the game of irony. Still, they managed to talk about love again.” In my opinion, this statement perfectly characterizes all postmodern aesthetics. In its theoretical understanding of the “author”, Eco is close, on the one hand, to Roland Barthes, and, on the other, to Mikhail Bakhtin. For Eco ,the “author” is no longer a scriptwriter, but still a certain impersonal being, whose identification occurs by means of the presence of narrative strategies or (here Eco is similar to Bakhtin) value installations, in other words, the presence of style.

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