Essay On The Name Of The Rose

Essay On The Name Of The Rose-65
Eco recalls the British army officer who, in the 1990s, received a publisher’s compensation as well as media fame for detailing his extramarital affair with Diana, Princess of Wales.

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In a 2002 piece Eco already spotted this trend, pointing to the endless procession of untalented people rushing to appear on television reality shows to air their scandals and sins; or who, when a camera appears in public, jostle to position themselves before its lens, eager to “wave ” to those watching at home.

This exhibitionism, Eco suggests, stems from anomie and fear of anonymity.

Still, he acknowledges the limitations of digital media, including the inevitable arrival of obsolescence in which, for example, floppy disks are followed by digital diskettes, and then rewritable disks, and then USB memory sticks—with each change tied to costly upgrades in computer hardware.

Today’s communications media, Eco writes, “seem to be aimed more at the broadcasting of information than its conservation.” So, “I’m happy those books are still there on my shelves, useful backups for the time when electronic instruments eventually pack up.” Eco’s Leftwing Traditionalism Actually Eco was a traditionalist, of a sort—a left-leaning, sometimes cranky agnostic who nonetheless understood Western culture and loved its marvelous and often religiously inspired accomplishments, its literature and art.

In the liquid society people often find themselves afloat, aware of the collapse of once-powerful institutions and ideologies, and without the consolation of the beliefs or traditions that provided ballast for centuries.

What is notable, Eco observes, is an “unbridled individualism” prompting people in the liquid society to “move from one act of consumption to another in a sort of purposeless bulimia: the new cell phone is no better than the old one, but the old has to be discarded in order to indulge in this orgy of desire.” In a 2005 essay, he contemplates the cell phone in all of its culture-changing glory, hailing its convenience but regretting the way it has muscled its way into nearly all aspects of human life, forcing “a loss of solitude, of silent personal reflection,” and condemning its users to “a constant presence of the present.uses cookies to personalize content, tailor ads and improve the user experience. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. Only loosely does the author link his commentary to the notion of “liquid modernity”—a phrase coined by the late Polish social theorist, Zygmunt Bauman.The term, which has a certain currency among European intellectuals, aims to convey the sense of fluidity and flux that has characterized life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, a period often described with the umbrella term “postmodern.” Postmodernism, Eco notes, “signaled the crisis of ‘grand narratives,’ each of which had claimed that one model of order could be superimposed on the world; it devoted itself to a playful or ironic reconsideration of the past, and was woven in various ways with nihilistic tendencies.” But it “represented a sort of ferry from modernity to a present that still has no name.” Bauman, though, thought the word “liquidity” captured the nature of our current state, one of lost moorings and lost meanings, where the only constant is change.Kennedy, and plotting just about every other cataclysmic event of the last century.The Jesuits also created the CIA, of course, and pulled the strings during Richard Nixon’s presidency.In the past, says Eco, people assumed recognition or praise was somehow earned, attached to the display of some skill or virtue widely prized.Now, however, it generally doesn’t take much to merit a legion of “followers,” a profusion of “likes.” It often just means laying claim to a parcel of media space.Eco has always been fascinated by the “eternal conspiracy syndrome,” the persistent popularity of shocking tales that purport to reveal the secret powers—be they Masons, Rothschilds, or members of the Bavarian Illuminati—who are said to control world events.He comments on a 2008 documentary called claimed that official accounts of the attacks of September 11, 2001 were almost certainly contrived to cover up a vast American plot concocted by the President, the Secretary of Defense, and other agents of the club of bankers and militarists who are hidden somewhere managing important happenings around the globe.


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