Umberto Eco

Criticism: Reviews, Interviews & Articles

Onsite Articles
Below are several articles on Eco; some are available as offsite links, and some have been transcribed to HTML format and placed online here at Porta Ludovica. Porta Ludovica does not mean to challenge the copyrights of any magazine or newspaper by uploading the text of an article. The copyrights are exclusively held by the publication and/or the writer; they are online here so interested people may read articles that have long been regulated to the eldritch world of microfische. The magazine articles are all at least four months old and the newspaper articles are at least a month old; the contents of any article which is in a "current" publication will not be uploaded -- in that case, I believe that you should purchase a copy of a the magazine and give them your support.
With this in mind, I would appreciate if people visiting this area of Porta Ludovica agree not to distribute the texts of these articles. Please read them only for your own personal interest.


Superstar Professor
Newsweek, September 29, 1986, by Scott Sullivan
A basic article on Eco, focusing on his unusual status as an acadmic celebrity and on The Name of the Rose. It also contains some interesting information about the movie.

Return of Ecomania
Time, March 6, 1989, by Otto Friedrich
A small article on the success of Foucault's Pendulum in Italy, written before it was translated into English. It summarizes the plot, contains excerpts from a few Italian reviews, and contains a few of Eco's comments.

Lighthearted Heavyweight / A Talk with Eco
Newsweek, November 13, 1989, by Peter S. Prescott
A review of Foucault's Pendulum coupled with a small excerpt from a conversation with Eco. The review is generally favorable, although a bit shallow, and the conversation excerpts are far too brief.

The Master of Semiotic Thrillers
U.S. News and World Report, November 20, 1989, by Erica Goode
A short, but good, article on Foucault's Pendulum. The article summarizes the results of a conversation between Eco and the writer, and so has several informative comments on the work by Eco himself.

Washington Diarist: Browbeaten
The New Republic, November 27, 1989, by Leon Wieseltier
A somewhat overly sensitive column about the superficiality of Tom Wolfe, Umberto Eco, and Woody Allen. The comments on the offensiveness of Foucault's Pendulum ("poorly written and swiftly read") are not half as funny as the author's remarks about Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Man Overboard
The New Yorker, August 21, 1995, by Andrea Lee
A wonderful preview of The Island of the Day Before, including some commentary on Eco's research and excerpts of a review with the author.

New York Times Book Review, October 22, 1995, by Robert Kelly
An extremely favorable and literate review of The Island of the Day Before, with some excellent commentary.

Eco Consciousness
Vogue, November 1995, by Fernanda Eberstadt
A very nice interview with Eco, he discusses The Island of the Day Before and his attitudes about reading. A much better article than many of those above in "more serious" magazines.

A Remarkable "Island" in a Vast Sea of Imagination
USA Today, January 9, 1996
A brief and favorable review of The Island of the Day Before.

A Renaissance Man Spans Batman, Monks
Philadelphia Daily News, January 3, 1997, by Ed Voves
A short interview with Eco.

The World According to Eco
Wired, March 1997, by Lee Marshall
An excellent interview with Eco about the Internet and its possibilities.

Offsite Articles

Review of Foucault's Pendulum
Humantitas, Februray 12, 1990, By Geoffrey Sauer
Maintained by Martin Messer at Quiddity, this review is by Geoffrey Sauer.

A Conversation on Information
Multimedia World, February 1995, by Patrick Caddock
An interview that focuses on Eco's ideas about information and communication. Hosted at Martin Ryder's Semiotics page.

Scholar-Novelist Umberto Eco Takes Readers to Another Era
Seattle Times, December 1995, by John Sutherland
This article, based on an interview with Eco, discusses his three novels.

New! Professor Whatever
The New Republic, 7 February 2000, by Simon Blackburn
A review of Kant and the Platypus.

Red Bar

Go To:

Criticism Main Page -- Back to the Criticism main page, where you can find the Porta Ludovica standard menu.

Books -- Criticism, analysis, and reader guides.

Academic Bibliography -- A bibliographical listing of articles, dissertations, book chapters and essays about Eco and his work.

Italian Criticism -- A few works of criticism that are currently available only in Italian.


That one is a heron, he said to himself, that a crane, a quail. -- Send email to the Great Quail -- comments, suggestions, corrections, criticisms, submissions . . . all are welcome!

--A. Ruch
23 March 2000