Vale Umberto Eco (1932-2016)

Manly%2520099Umberto Eco visited Australia in 1982 to give lectures in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, mostly related to issues in his Theory of Semiotics (1976) and The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts (1979). His visit is recorded in a plaque in his honour on the Sydney Writers Walk on Circular Quay which quotes his view (in a piece written for L’Espresso, 1982) of the Australia of that time: ‘L’Australia non è solo agli antipodi, è lontana da tutto, talora anche da se stessa‘.  Interest in the Pacific appeared from time to time in his writings, from the essay in his first Diario minimo of 1963 (‘Industria e repressione sessuale in una società padana’) to L’isola del giorno prima (1995) and probably beyond. La Repubblica XL has included this scene from Davide Ferrario’s 2015 documentary Umberto Eco, Sulla memoria. Una conversazione in tre parti, in its farewell to a truly extraordinary scholar and public intellectual.

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2 thoughts on “Vale Umberto Eco (1932-2016)

  1. DM says:

    I do remember it, Barbara – along with the whole series of terrific events that the F.May Foundation organised almost every year in those distant days. Conferences with scholars, performance artists, theatre directors, poets, political figures – events that were surely just in the spirit of Frederick May himself.

  2. Barbara McGilvray says:

    He came, as you probably remember, David, as a guest of the late lamented Frederick May Foundation. And gave us all a treat.
    During that visit his son was asked what it was like living with someone with such an amazing mind, and the response was “He doesn’t know anything about the guitar”. 🙂

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