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5.0 out of 5 stars Eco's Charles Eliot Norton Lectures
The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures have been organised since 1926 and, with only a short break, have taken place each year, always with a lecturer at the height of a profession; although I have read only a few and seen and listened to even fewer, I have enjoyed them but realised the lecturers have been given considerable scope in their choice of subject, e.g. Bernstein...
Published on 23 Aug 2011 by RR Waller

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmm?
As an English teacher and one fascinated by narrative, I expected more from this author and his book although I'm only part way through so a review at this stage is less than fair. It seems to me that Eco takes a long time to make his points and those points are not only quite obscure but not always very interesting. Maybe for others this will not be the case - and I will...
Published on 19 Jun 2011 by Scampo


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5.0 out of 5 stars Eco's Charles Eliot Norton Lectures, 23 Aug 2011
By 
RR Waller "ISeneca" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures have been organised since 1926 and, with only a short break, have taken place each year, always with a lecturer at the height of a profession; although I have read only a few and seen and listened to even fewer, I have enjoyed them but realised the lecturers have been given considerable scope in their choice of subject, e.g. Bernstein lecturing on Chomskyan deep-structure and transformational grammar in music.

Umberto Eco is a prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction, mostly in his field of linguistics and semiotics, a discipline not known for its immediate and obvious appeal to all-comers; some might even say "indiscipline". At the end of this book, "Six Walks in the Fictional Woods", some readers might say they could not see the wood for the trees.

He begins with an obviously continuing conversation between himself, Pugliatti and Iser, each trying to pinpoint, define and explain the roles of the model reader and author in fiction, taking authors as wide apart as Dante and Mickey Spillane to exemplify the points.

In the final chapter, "Fictional Protocols", he begins by asking the question: "If fictional worlds are so comfortable, why not try to read the actual world as if it were a work of fiction? Or, if the fictional worlds are so small and deceptively comfortable, why not try to devise fictional worlds that are as complex, contradictory and provocative as the actual one?" (P 117) On the rest of the page, using examples from Shakespeare, Joyce, Dante, Rabelais and Nerval, and a short interruption to bring in Scarlett O'Hara, he begins to answer his question.

He is so passionate, encyclopaedic in his knowledge and reading, so wide-ranging in his interests, the walk in the woods can be intellectually exhausting and only a walk in the real woods will help to return the calm.

Typical Eco. Enjoyable, fascinating and exhausting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 23 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Six Walks in the Fictional Woods (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) (Paperback)
Eco is my favorite writer, and this book is just one of top-5 literature-related work in my view.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmm?, 19 Jun 2011
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Scampo "Steve C" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Six Walks in the Fictional Woods (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) (The Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) (Paperback)
As an English teacher and one fascinated by narrative, I expected more from this author and his book although I'm only part way through so a review at this stage is less than fair. It seems to me that Eco takes a long time to make his points and those points are not only quite obscure but not always very interesting. Maybe for others this will not be the case - and I will eventually finish the reading but for now it sits untouched. Id, after that, my view has changed I will add to this short review - but so far the tone and approach has been quite consistent and less than interesting.
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