The Limits of Interpretation by Umberto EcoThe Limits of Interpretation by Umberto Eco

The Limits of Interpretation

byUmberto Eco

Paperback | January 22, 1991

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"Eco's essays read like letters from a friend, trying to share something he loves with someone he likes.... Read this brilliant, enjoyable, and possibly revolutionary book." -George J. Leonard, San Francisco Review of Books

"... a wealth of insight and instruction." -J. O. Tate, National Review

"If anyone can make [semiotics] clear, it's Professor Eco.... Professor Eco's theme deserves respect; language should be used to communicate more easily without literary border guards." -The New York Times

"The limits of interpretation mark the limits of our world. Umberto Eco's new collection of essays touches deftly on such matters." -Times Literary Supplement

"It is a careful and challenging collection of essays that broach topics rarely considered with any seriousness by literary theorists." -Diacritics

Umberto Eco focuses here on what he once called "the cancer of uncontrolled interpretation"-that is, the belief that many interpreters have gone too far in their domination of texts, thereby destroying meaning and the basis for communication.

First a semiotician at the University of Bologna, and a leading figure in contemporary Italian culture, Eco brought semiotics to fiction in his first novel, The Name of the Rose (1980). This unexpected international best-seller employs the techniques of a detective novel along with sophisticated postmodern narrative and verbal conundru...
Title:The Limits of InterpretationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.89 inPublished:January 22, 1991Publisher:Indiana University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253208696

ISBN - 13:9780253208699

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Table of Contents


1. Two Models of Interpretation
2. Unlimited Semiosis and Drift Pragmaticism vs. "Pragmatism"
3. Intentio Lectoris: The State of the Art
4. Small Worlds
5. Interpreting Serials
6. Interpreting Drama
7. Interpreting Animals
8. A Portrait of the Elder as a Young Pliny
9. Joyce, Semiosis, and Semiotics
10. Abduction in Uqbar
11. Pirandello Ridens
12. Fakes and Forgeries
13. Semantics, Pragmatics, and Text Semiotics
14. Presuppositions
15. On Truth: A Fiction


From Our Editors

This crucial work by major international intellectual figure Umberto Eco begins with four theoretical essays dealing with various aspects of interpretive theory. In this collection of essays, the author focuses on what he calls the limits of interpretation, or, as once noted in another context, 'the cancer of uncontrolled interpretation.' He states clearly at the outset his belief that many interpreters have gone too far in their domination of texts, thereby destroying meaning and the basis for communication. Eco's perspective in The Limits of Interpretation explains the defraction of the written and spoken words in such a convincing manner that you literally won't believe it.