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Eco, Umberto (Translated by Martin McLaughlin). ON LITERATURE: ESSAYS BY UMBERTO ECO. New York City, NY: Harcourt Books, 2004. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 334 pages. As New/As New. Signed.

Landmark collection of essays. One of Umberto Eco's greatest achievements. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a very small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Umberto Eco's "Sulla Letteratura" in a felicitous English translation. A magisterial collection. Originally delivered as lectures or written and published as "stand-alone" pieces over the course of his stupendous career, Eco seeks, individually and cumulatively, "to understand the chemistry of my passion" for the written word. From musings on Ptolemy and "the force of the false", a lifelong Eco theme, to reflections on the experimental writing of Borges and Joyce, "Eco's luminous intelligence and encyclopedic knowledge are on dazzling display throughout. And when he reveals his own ambitions and superstitions, his authorial anxieties and fears, one feels like a secret sharer in the garden of literature to which he so often alludes. Remarkably accessible and unfailingly stimulating, this collection exhibits the diversity of interests and the depth of knowledge that have made Eco one of the world's leading writers" (Publisher's blurb). "Above all, literature keeps language alive as our collective heritage. By definition, language goes its own way. No decree from on high, emanating either from politicians or from the academy, can stop its progress and divert it toward situations that they claim are for the best" (Umberto Eco). Time flies: One looked forward to a new Umberto Eco book with reliable, nearly annual, regularity, and even if, lest one forget, the book in question needed to be translated first - with the author's complete involvement and full blessing - before it could actually be published. Those of us who were fortunate enough to see and hear him in person knew first-hand that apart from being a ground-breaking scholar, philosopher, cultural critic ("semiotician"), and literary artist/novelist, Eco was a fastidious polylinguist whose command of the English language was better than most native speakers'. Umberto Eco died on February 19, 2016 at the age of 84, the exact same day as Harper Lee, another literary icon of the less prolific kind, who died at the age of 89. They will both be missed. An absolute "must-have" title for Umberto Eco collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the title page by Umberto Eco. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page or bookplate. Eco signed his name in full (as opposed to the more common "U. Eco"), and his signature is clean, flowing, and elegant. This title is a great collection. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online command between $250 and $450. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare signed copy thus. One of the greatest writers of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER UMBERTO ECO TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0151008124. $150.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on July 24, 2017.