By Umberto Eco
From Umberto Eco:
"I want to devote the ebook to these critics whom i've got so summarily outlined as apocalyptics. with out their unjust, biased, neurotic, determined censure, i might by no means have elaborated 3 quarters of the guidelines that i need to percentage the following; with out them, possibly none folks might have discovered that the query of mass tradition is one during which we're all deeply concerned. it's a signal of contradiction in our civilization. - Umberto Eco. it is a witty and erudite choice of Umberto Eco's essays on mass tradition from the Sixties throughout the Eighties, together with significant items by no means earlier than released in English. The dialogue is framed by means of opposing characterizations of present intellectuals as both apocalyptic (or against all mass tradition) or built-in intellectuals (who are loads part of mass tradition as to be ignorant of serving it). prepared into 4 major components - "Mass tradition: Apocalypse Postponed," "Mass Media and the boundaries of Communication," "The upward push and Fall of Countercultures," and "In seek of Italian Genius" - Eco's essays examine numerous themes and cultural productions, together with the realm of Charlie Brown, differences among intellectual and lowbrow, the way forward for literacy, chinese language comedian strips, even if countercultures exist, Fellini's "Ginger and Fred", and the Italian genius industry."
Best recognized for his novels The identify of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum , Eco, a semiotics professor on the college of Bologna, explores mass media, politics, mass tradition and counterculture during this choice of erudite essays from the mid-1960s to the overdue Nineteen Eighties. A combined bag, the booklet incorporates a structural research of undesirable flavor, a record on self sustaining, freewheeling radio stations in Italy and a cogent interpreting of George Orwell's 1984 as a feedback not just of Soviet and Nazi totalitarianism but in addition of bourgeois mass tradition. losing various allusions to the Italian cultural scene, Eco applies semiotics to decipher the indicators and logos in Charles Schulz's caricature, Peanuts , Italian product layout, vacuous political discourse, church pamphlets, chinese language comedian strips and Fellini's motion picture approximately tv, Ginger and Fred.
Introduction via Robert Lumley
Part One: Mass tradition: Apocalypse Postponed
1 Apocalyptic and built-in Intellectuals: Mass communications and theories of mass culture
2 the realm of Charlie Brown
3 Reactions of Apocalyptic and built-in Intellectuals: Then (1964)
4 Reactions of the writer: Now (1974 and 1977)
5 Orwell, or bearing on Visionary energy
6 the way forward for Literacy
Part : Mass Media and the boundaries of verbal exchange
1 Political Language: The use and abuse of rhetoric
2 Does the viewers have undesirable results on tv?
3 occasion as Mise en scene and existence as Scene-setting
4 The Phantom of Neo-TV: the talk on Fellini's Ginger and Fred
Part 3: the increase and Fall of Counter-cultures
1 Does Counter-culture Exist?
2 the recent sorts of Expression
3 On chinese language comedian Strips: Counter-information and substitute information
4 self reliant Radio in Italy
5 remarkable on the center of the State?
Part 4: looking for Italian Genius
1 Phenomena of this type also needs to be integrated in Any landscape of Italian Design
2 A greenback for a Deputy: l. a. Cicciolina
3 For Grace Received
4 The Italian Genius Industry
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Extra info for Apocalypse Postponed (Perspectives)
12. Marshall McLuhan: an 'integrated intellectual'; author of best-selling Understanding Media (New York: McGraw Hill, 1964). Subject of a sharp critique in Eco's 'Cogitus interruptus' in Travels in Hyperreality (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986). 13. See the essay 'Independent Radio in Italy' in this collection. 1 ... Marcuse. 15. For a discussion of the comic strip as 'alternative information', see the essay in this collection, 'On Chinese Comic Strips'. 16. Eco, 'The Myth of Superman' in The Role of the Reader.
But when speaking of literacy it is better to forget the shibboleths of highbrow culture. Speaking of literacy in the world today we are not only concerned with the happy few of Bloomsbury, but with the masses of the Third World. The real question rather is how to confront a series of phenomena which are menacing the universe of books and the cultural heritage I>H ~hat books repr~sent. I shall list some problems, without pretending LO propose solutions. It IS pretty late in the day and I have started my twelve hours of pessimism.
Though Thoth's invention may not have, Gutenberg's has certainly weakened the mnemonic capacity of our species. To counteract the negative effects of printing, the old school insisted on training young people to learn poems, dates and lists of historical figures by heart. Our permissive society, relying on the abundance of tapes and other forms of recording, has further rendered memory as a mental ability somewhat obsolete. The use of computers will work in the same direction. You may recall a short story by Isaac Asimov where, in a future world dominated by intelligent machines, the last human being who still knows the multiplication tables by heart is wanted by the Pentagon and by various secret services because he represents the only calculator able to function in the event of power shortages.
Apocalypse Postponed (Perspectives) by Umberto Eco