Umberto Eco was an international cultural superstar. In this, his last collection, the celebrated essayist and novelist observes the changing world around him with irrepressible curiosity and profound wisdom. He sees with fresh eyes the upheaval in ideological values, the crises in politics, and the unbridled individualism that have become the backdrop of our lives—a “liquid” society in which it’s not easy to find a polestar, though stars and starlets abound.
In these pieces, written for his regular column in L’Espresso magazine, Eco brings his dazzling erudition and keen sense of the everyday to bear on topics such as popular culture and politics, being seen, conspiracies, the old and the young, new technologies, mass media, racism, and good manners. It is a final gift to his readers—astute, witty, and illuminating.
“A swan song from one of Europe’s great intellectuals . . . [Eco] entertains with his intellect, humor, and insatiable curiosity.” — Kirkus Reviews
“An intelligent, intriguing, and often hilariously incisive set of observations on contemporary follies and changing mores.” — Publishers Weekly
“Chronicles of a Liquid Society is a wonderful reminder of a great writer, thinker, and human being.” — Toronto Star
HMH Books; November 2017
- ISBN: 9780544974579
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: Chronicles of a Liquid Society
- Author: Umberto Eco; Richard Dixon (trans.)
Imprint: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
In The Press
“A swan song from one of Europe’s great intellectuals. After publishing numerous novels, criticism, essays, and so much more, Eco died in 2016 at the age of 84. Like a few others before him, including Edmund Wilson and Lionel Trilling, among others, Eco proved that one could write for many audiences...There’s a distinct Italian lean to these pieces, so some travel better than others, but it’s not so much the information they convey as much as the intellect and thought processes of the conveyor...Eco entertains with his intellect, humor, and insatiable curiosity...There’s much here to enjoy and ponder.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Eco’s writing reveals a humanist in every sense of the word, well acquainted with the classics of Western civilization and able to take a broad, often amused view of human affairs...Dixon’s translation is seamless, capturing Eco’s erudite style...This volume’s primary reward lies in the pleasure of watching a finely calibrated, expansive, and logical mind build an argument or deconstruct cant. Eco has left us an intelligent, intriguing, and often hilariously incisive set of observations on contemporary follies and changing mores.”—Publishers Weekly
“Endless material for conversation.”—Library Journal
About The Author
UMBERTO ECO (1932–2016) was the author of numerous essay collections and seven novels. He received Italy’s highest literary award, the Premio Strega, was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government, and was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.