Skip to main content

Today in Language: Buon Compleanno Signor Eco

To begin, I extend my apologies to Umberto Eco that I cannot write this post in Italian. One day I will learn that beautiful language. 

Umberto Eco, not only one of the most well-known scholars but also one of the best-selling novelists in the world, turns 80 today.

The king of semiotics, Eco has also contributed to a dizzying number of other sub-disciplines in the humanities, not just in linguistics and translation, but also literature and literary theory, medieval studies and philosophy, art and architecture. In honor of his 80th birthday, I pick one book and one quotation as an attempt to dip into his thought.

A Book
To pick one book from Eco's massive bibliography (which is matched only by his massive personal library of anywhere from 30,000-50,000 volumes, according to one interview), consider his The Infinity of Lists (or The Vertigo of Lists as originally titled in Italian). Part of my interest in Eco is his obsession with lists, one I share. Lists are just so useful for organizing, chronicling, and enjoying life. In the same interview, Eco argues that listing is a preferable alternative to defining. 

A Quotation
To pick one quotation from Eco, also from the interview already mentioned, consider this thought in your own effort to accumulate knowledge and navigate the overwhelming quantity of books it seems that one must read to be cultured: "Culture isn't knowing when Napoleon died. Culture means knowing how I can find out in two minutes."

Comments

  1. I loved reading Eco's The Name of the Rose when it first came out. The movie was not nearly as good, as usually happens when novels are adapted to the big screen.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Movie Review: A Better Life - Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part review of A Better Life. The first part dealt more with the background issue of illegal immigration, whereas this part focuses more on the movie itself.

In the movie, neither the undocumented immigrants (representative of all the undocumented, but particularly those with upright motives) nor the police (representative of the legal system, including courts, prisons, and immigration) is entirely at fault. Both are stuck in an imperfect, human system.

The viewer is led to sympathize with the undocumented man, an honest landscaper who wants nothing but to work hard so that his one son can have a better life. He’s away from home; his wife left him when his son was little; he has next to nothing; when he does acquire something (a lawn business and pickup with equipment) it gets stolen from him. And yet, the movie does not excuse what he does wrong nor does it try to show him as a man victimized and ruined by the consequences of his actions.

Apart fr…

教会に影響を与えるために神様が用いる人々の九つの特徴

Read this in English.

これらの9つの特性は、アンドルーボナーから来る。説教でそれらを議論する私の牧師を聞きながら、コピーしたので、ボナーの何本から来たのは覚えていません。これらはクリスチャンに対してとても大事の本質ではないでしょうか。

教会に影響を与えるために神様が用いる人々は次の特徴がある...

1.まじめな人
2.成功を目標する人
3.信仰を持つ人
4.勤勉な人
5.忍耐強い人
6.大胆な人
7.祈る人
8.強力な教義の人
9.深くに清新な人

黒澤監督の『隠し砦の三悪人』

今週初めて黒澤明の『隠し砦の三悪人』という映画を見ました。この三悪人とは、だれですか? 三船敏郎が演じる真壁六郎太(まかべろくたろう)と二人の百姓です。この3人の登場人物の関係はとても面白くて、全ての人間の弱さも愛される性質も示します。

最後の場面で、二人の百姓、太平(千秋実)と又七(藤原釜足)、姫と真壁からもらった金1枚をどうやって分けるかと黙っていて、太平は又七に任そうとしていても又七は断ります。いつもケンカしているこの二人は、後で再びケンカしてしまうと思われますけれども、取りあえずまた仲良くなって幸いです。