Travels in Hyperreality Paperback – May 27 1990
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From Publishers Weekly
"This uneven collection reflects the Italian scholar's love of the Middle Ages--one essay compares American universities to monasteries, another focuses on Thomas Aquinas--though, for the most part, Eco relentlessly analyzes the present," reported PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
This smorgasbord of 26 pieces ultimately focuses on the boundaries of realism as exemplified by the"hyper reality" of American phenomena like the Madonna Inn, wax museums, San Simeon, theme parks, etc. Though his tone is witty, Eco's purpose remains that of the semiologist. He is concerned about "the systems of signs that we use to describe the world and tell it to one another," and aims both to expose the "messages" of political and economic power and of "the entertainment industry and the revolution industry" and to show us how to analyze and criticize them. Though these essays are generally entertaining, they lack the originality and punch of Barthes's Mythologies and seem unlikely to find the same popular success as Eco's own The Name of the Rose . Richard Kuczkowski, Dir., Continuing Education, Dominican Coll., Blauvelt, N.Y.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This collection is a series of loosely connected essays by Eco. It's an interesting book to read not cover-to-cover but to read an essay once in a while until the book is finished. That way the attitudes can sink in. The biggest fault I found with the book is certain essays to do with semiotics have arguments that are complex and hard to follow. This is understandable as they're taken from more specialised publications whereas in the novels, he strives to bring his ideas to the general public.
The essays I found to be most likeable are Travels in Hyperreality (about the proliferation of wax museums in the US and the general obsession with replicas in society), Reports from the Global Village (a series of essays on media), an analysis of Casablanca and In Praise of St Thomas (Eco's PhD was on Thomas so his views can be seen as fairly authoritative).
A good read but not brilliant.
Unfortunately, I found "Travels in Hyperreality" to be a hastily pasted collection of observations and commentary that is not really worthy of Eco's growing portfolio. The book was sometimes interesting, but dry and tasteless. I thought the whole lot of it could be encapsulated in Eco's strange observations concerning "the wearing of blue jeans." That is, if you're really, really, really into Eco and want to soak up everything he says, then this book will not disappoint. If, on the other hand, you have limited time on your hands, then Eco's fictional works, or "Search for the Perfect Language," are far better temporal investments.
Perhaps I didn't get it, or perhaps it was a mistake reading much of it in a bar in Santa Clara, but I would assert that this is only a book for the Eco purist.
Most recent customer reviews
Well this was my third book by Mr. Eco and dthe continue to get worse. The Rose was excellent and made me hungry for more but after the Pendulum and this Hyper-Realty bit I'm going... Read morePublished on Aug. 7 2003
Two essays are gems. First, the comparison of California/Getty Museum (hyperreality) with New Orleans. Reference frame provided by the not-yet-dead-traditions of W. Europe. Read morePublished on June 1 2000 by Professor Joseph L. McCauley
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