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Serendipities : language & lunacy

Author: Umberto Eco
Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, ©1998.
Series: Italian Academy lectures.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Umberto Eco's latest work unlocks the riddles of history in an exploration of the "linguistics of the lunatic," stories told by scholars, scientists, poets, fanatics, and ordinary people in order to make sense of the world. Exploring the "Force of the False," Eco uncovers layers of mistakes that have shaped human history, such as Columbus's assumption that the world was much smaller than it is, leading him to seek  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Umberto Eco
ISBN: 0231111347 9780231111348
OCLC Number: 39116569
Description: ix, 129 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Force of falsity --
Languages in paradise --
From Marco Polo to Leibniz : stories of intellectual misunderstandings --
Language of the Austral Land --
Linguistics of Joseph de Maistre.
Series Title: Italian Academy lectures.
Other Titles: Essays.
Responsibility: Umberto Eco ; translated by William Weaver.

Abstract:

Umberto Eco's latest work unlocks the riddles of history in an exploration of the "linguistics of the lunatic," stories told by scholars, scientists, poets, fanatics, and ordinary people in order to make sense of the world. Exploring the "Force of the False," Eco uncovers layers of mistakes that have shaped human history, such as Columbus's assumption that the world was much smaller than it is, leading him to seek out a quick route to the East via the West and thus fortuitously "discovering" America. In a careful unveiling of the fabulous and the false, Eco shows us how serendipities - unanticipated truths - often spring from mistaken ideas. From Leibniz's belief that the I Ching illustrated the principles of calculus to Marco Polo's mistaking a rhinoceros for a unicorn, Eco tours the labyrinth of intellectual history, illuminating the ways in which we project the familiar onto the strange.

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