Serendipities

Autor: Umberto Eco
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231500149
File Size: 77,48 MB
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Best-selling author Umberto Eco's latest work unlocks the riddles of history in an exploration of the "linguistics of the lunatic," stories told by scholars, scientists, poets, fanatics, and ordinary people in order to make sense of the world. Exploring the "Force of the False," Eco uncovers layers of mistakes that have shaped human history, such as Columbus's assumption that the world was much smaller than it is, leading him to seek out a quick route to the East via the West and thus fortuitously "discovering" America. The fictions that grew up around the cults of the Rosicrucians and Knights Templar were the result of a letter from a mysterious "Prester John"—undoubtedly a hoax—that provided fertile ground for a series of delusions and conspiracy theories based on religious, ethnic, and racial prejudices. While some false tales produce new knowledge (like Columbus's discovery of America) and others create nothing but horror and shame (the Rosicrucian story wound up fueling European anti-Semitism) they are all powerfully persuasive. In a careful unraveling of the fabulous and the false, Eco shows us how serendipities—unanticipated truths—often spring from mistaken ideas. From Leibniz's belief that the I Ching illustrated the principles of calculus to Marco Polo's mistaking a rhinoceros for a unicorn, Eco tours the labyrinth of intellectual history, illuminating the ways in which we project the familiar onto the strange. Eco uncovers a rich history of linguistic endeavor—much of it ill-conceived—that sought to "heal the wound of Babel." Through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Greek, Hebrew, Chinese, and Egyptian were alternately proclaimed as the first language that God gave to Adam, while—in keeping with the colonial climate of the time—the complex language of the Amerindians in Mexico was viewed as crude and diabolical. In closing, Eco considers the erroneous notion of linguistic perfection and shrewdly observes that the dangers we face lie not in the rules we use to interpret other cultures but in our insistence on making these rules absolute. With the startling combination of erudition and wit, bewildering anecdotes and scholarly rigor that are Eco's hallmarks, Serendipities is sure to entertain and enlighten any reader with a passion for the curious history of languages and ideas.

The Travels And Adventures Of Serendipity

Autor: Robert K. Merton
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400841526
File Size: 80,43 MB
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From the names of cruise lines and bookstores to an Australian ranch and a nudist camp outside of Atlanta, the word serendipity--that happy blend of wisdom and luck by which something is discovered not quite by accident--is today ubiquitous. This book traces the word's eventful history from its 1754 coinage into the twentieth century--chronicling along the way much of what we now call the natural and social sciences. The book charts where the term went, with whom it resided, and how it fared. We cross oceans and academic specialties and meet those people, both famous and now obscure, who have used and abused serendipity. We encounter a linguistic sage, walk down the illustrious halls of the Harvard Medical School, attend the (serendipitous) birth of penicillin, and meet someone who "manages serendipity" for the U.S. Navy. The story of serendipity is fascinating; that of The Travels and Adventures of Serendipity, equally so. Written in the 1950s by already-eminent sociologist Robert Merton and Elinor Barber, the book--though occasionally and most tantalizingly cited--was intentionally never published. This is all the more curious because it so remarkably anticipated subsequent battles over research and funding--many of which centered on the role of serendipity in science. Finally, shortly after his ninety-first birthday, following Barber's death and preceding his own by but a little, Merton agreed to expand and publish this major work. Beautifully written, the book is permeated by the prodigious intellectual curiosity and generosity that characterized Merton's influential On the Shoulders of Giants. Absolutely entertaining as the history of a word, the book is also tremendously important to all who value the miracle of intellectual discovery. It represents Merton's lifelong protest against that rhetoric of science that defines discovery as anything other than a messy blend of inspiration, perspiration, error, and happy chance--anything other than serendipity.

Fracture And Fragmentation In British Romanticism

Autor: Alexander Regier
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 052150967X
File Size: 34,16 MB
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This book explains why 'fracture' and 'fragmentation' are two critical concepts that are particularly suited to understanding what is special about Romanticism. The book also discusses how Romanticism comes to be both an historical as well as a philosophical category, and offers new readings of key Romantic writers.

Multicultural Writers Since 1945

Autor: Alba della Fazia Amoia
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313306884
File Size: 29,62 MB
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The end of World War II led to increased interest in multicultural concerns and a flourishing of literary and artistic endeavors. It was also a time of decolonization and the emergence of new nations and cultures clamoring for recognition and respect. The political circumstances following World War II exposed many people to other cultures. This reference discusses the experiences of writers active since 1945 who were shaped by cultures other than their own. Included are alphabetically arranged entries for more than 100 writers, including Chinua Achebe, W.H. Auden, Mircea Eliade, Jamaica Kincaid, Salman Rushdie, and Elie Wiesel. The profiled authors either lived in another culture voluntarily or were wrenched from one culture into another. Each entry includes a brief biography, a discussion of multicultural themes in the writer's works, a review of criticism, and primary and secondary bibliographies. The volume closes with a selected, general bibliography. The reference demonstrates the value of multicultural experiences in the lives of writers around the world and fosters a greater appreciation of cultural diversity.

Library And Information Science Annual

Autor: Bohdan S. Wynar
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781563087851
File Size: 31,53 MB
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Keeping you abreast of recent developments in library and information science, this annual identifies and evaluates the most important work currently being done in the field. The book contains approximately 400 in-depth, critical reviews of English -language library science monographs, reference books, and selected library and information science periodicals published in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.

After Pentecost

Autor: Craig G. Bartholomew
Publisher: Paternoster
ISBN:
File Size: 37,97 MB
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"There is always some view of language built into biblical interpretation. If we are to read Scripture to hear God's address it is vital that we attend to current debates about language and become critically conscious in this respect."Craig BartholomewAfter Pentecost is the second volume from the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar. This annual gathering of Christian scholars from various disciplines was established in 1998 and aims to reassess the discipline of biblical studies from the foundations up and forge creative new ways for reopening the Bible in our cultures.The Seminar was aware from the outset that any renewal of biblical interpretation would have to attend to the issue of language. In this rich and creative volume the importance of linguistic issues for biblical interpretation is analysed, the challenge of postmodernism is explored, and some of the most creative recent developments in philosophy and theology of language are assessed and updated for biblical interpretation.CONTRIBULTORS INCLUDE:Mary HesseRay Van LeeuwenAnthony ThiseltonKevin VanhoozerNicholas Wolterstorff

Interpretation And Overinterpretation

Autor: Umberto Eco
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521425544
File Size: 77,74 MB
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This book brings together some of the most distinguished figures currently at work in philosophy, literary theory and criticism to debate the limits of interpretation.