Obits. Harper Lee and Umberto Eco

theguardian.com/books/2016/f … o-obituary

Viaggio sicuro, Umberto

theguardian.com/books/2016/f … es-alabama

Bon Voyage, Nelle (Harper).

I can’t comment on Harper Lee … I’m an illiterate, if illiteracy is defined as not having read and having no intention to read the bulk of the literary works generally considered to be great or important; so I’ve never read “To Kill a Mockingbird” or it’s belated successor.

However on Umberto Eco:

as a linguist in the sense of a student of linguistics, I have no time for semiotics, and any time I tried to read into it found it highly pretentious;

I enjoyed The Name of the Rose and was willing to put up with its long-windedness and try to fathom out what was going on. I quite enjoyed the film, too;

I ploughed through Foucault’s Pendulum, trying to work out who was taking who for a ride. When I reached the end, I concluded that the reality was that it was Umberto Eco taking his readers for a ride.

So my interest in Umberto Eco stopped there.

Mr X

Eco will be missed - a uniquely broad and open-minded academic who moved a long-standing form of study (into signs and the huge variety of types of signification) into new areas, and even managed to weave a decent enough novel around some of it.

Morning all :slight_smile: theguardian.com/books/2016/f … mberto-eco

I like this observation, of Eco: “He also loved Starsky and Hutch, but not as much as Columbo*.” In one respect at least, I share his taste.

Edit: *Or, according to another obit today, ER.

Heh. I loved “Foucault’s Pendulum,” and I use semiotics in some of the music stuff/theory I do. :slight_smile: It’s not a be-all/end-all of analysis, though. Merely a tool in the box, as it were.

I hadn’t realized Eco was in his 80’s. I started “Prague Cemetery,” but didn’t get very far. I should give it another try.

I read To Kill a Mockingbird before I knew it was a classic. It’s worth the read and, in my irrelevant opinion, also worth the “classic” moniker. A pleasure to read while also being one of those books that stays with you long after you read the last page. It must be over 30 years since I read it, but I can still picture key scenes as I read them (& no, I’m not just remembering scenes from the movie, although I can do that too)