The open work

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, Apr 3, 1989 - Architecture - 285 pages
1 Review
More than twenty years after its original appearance in Italian, The Open Work remains significant for its powerful concept of "openness"--the artist's decision to leave arrangements of some constituents of a work to the public or to chance--and for its striking anticipation of two major themes of contemporary literary theory: the element of multiplicity and plurality in art, and the insistence on literary response as an interactive process between reader and text. The questions Umberto Eco raises, and the answers he suggests, are intertwined in the continuing debate on literature, art, and culture in general. This entirely new edition, edited for the English-language audience with the approval of Eco himself, includes an authoritative introduction by David Robey that explores Eco's thought at the period of The Open Work, prior to his absorption in semiotics. The book now contains key essays on Eco's mentor Luigi Pareyson, on television and mass culture, and on the politics of art. Harvard University Press will publish separately and simultaneously the extended study of James Joyce that was originally part of The Open Work, entitled The Aesthetics of Chaosmos: The Middle Ages of James Joyce. The Open Work explores a set of issues in aesthetics that remain central to critical theory, and does so in a characteristically vivid style. Eco's convincing manner of presenting ideas and his instinct for the lively example are threaded compellingly throughout. This book is at once a major treatise in modern aesthetics and an excellent introduction to Eco's thought.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

The open work

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This collection of newly translated essays presents Eco's response to the aesthetics of Benedetto Croce, which have had considerable influence in Italian thought for several decades. Eco's idea of ... Read full review

Contents

The Poetics of the Open Work i
12
Analysis of Poetic Language
24
Openness Information Communication
44
Copyright

10 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1989)

First a semiotician at the University of Bologna, and a leading figure in contemporary Italian culture, Eco brought semiotics to fiction in his first novel, The Name of the Rose (1980). This unexpected international best-seller employs the techniques of a detective novel along with sophisticated postmodern narrative and verbal conundrums, to recount a series of murders in a medieval monastery. Eco's fascination with the Middle Ages began when he was a student at the University of Torino, where he wrote his doctoral thesis (1954) on St. Thomas Aquinas. The Name of the Rose (1980) won the Premio Strega and the Premio Anghiar awards in 1981, as well as numerous international awards.

Bibliographic information