Monthly Archives: February 2016

RIP Umberto Eco (1932 – 2016)

Umberto Eco was an Italian novelist, essayist and philosopher. He is best known for his bestselling 1980 historical mystery novel The Name of the Rose (which I have never been able to finish, although I did see the film).

The only one of his novels I read was Foucault’s Pendulum, in the summer of 2013 in Turkey, which was great for many reasons, not in the least for mentioning the subject matter that would later make it to the cacopedia.

I’m a big fan of his non-fiction and I thoroughly enjoyed The Search for the Perfect Language, Six Walks in the Fictional Woods, Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition, Inventing the Enemy and The Infinity of Lists.

On On Ugliness deserves special mention, it’s a wonderful book.

And oh yes, I would hate to see the Bibliotheca semiologica curiosa, lunatica, magica, et pneumatica, Umberto Eco’s library which consists entirely of books that describe falsities, dispersed.

Eco’s voice will be missed.

Who is the new Umberto Eco? Who’s the new nobrow genius?

Above is an excerpt from the 2013 documentary Signs & Secrets: The Worlds of Umberto Eco.

P. S. The last survivors of 1932 (in my canon) are Robert Coover, Dušan Makavejev, Dieter Rams, Ernest Ranglin, Paul Virilio, Fernando Arrabal and Stéphane Audran.

RIP Andrzej Żuławski (1940 – 2016)

Andrzej Żuławski (1940 – 2016) was a Polish film director. He is noted for the body horror film Possession (above), a powerful divorce allegory.

In Possession, Mark (played by Sam Neill) returns home to Berlin to find his wife Anna (Isabelle Adjani) is leaving him for an unclear reason.

He initially suspects an affair and snoops on his wife, but he gradually discovers clues that something far stranger is afoot. Instead, his wife leaves him and her lover, Heinrich (Heinz Bennent) for a bizarre experience with a strange tentacle creature.