Confessions of a Young Novelist

Umberto Eco, Harvard Univ., $18.95 (200p) ISBN 978-0-674-05869-9
In this tongue-in-cheek-titled collection of four Richard Ellmann Lectures he gave at Harvard, semiologist, medievalist, and bestselling novelist Eco (The Name of the Rose)—hardly young anymore, as he and we know—confronts the question of what, exactly, creative writing is. ("Why is a bad poet a creative writer, while a good scientific essayist is not?") To answer the question, Eco examines the slippery relationship between author, text, and their interpreters. How does the author's intent come to engage the reader? Can the text in itself produce its own Model Reader? How might we best identify the qualities that make readers believe fictional characters really exist?, The final third of the book is devoted to a favored Ecoian pastime: enumeration, with the last stop being infinity. An eclectic list of writers who themselves use lists "as a literary device" joins in the fun: Rabelais and Joyce; Homer; Whitman; Alfred Döblin; and the "confessing young novelist" himself in a shameless package of self-referencing and promotion. Always clever and thoughtful, these musings will delight devotees and enlighten newcomers alike. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/10/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.