This week’s episode in our series on the great essays and great essayists explores Umberto Eco’s ‘Thoughts on Wikileaks’ (2010). Eco writes about what makes a true scandal, what are real secrets, and what it would mean to expose the hidden workings of power. It is an essay that connects digital technology, medieval mystery and Dan Brown. Plus David talks about the hidden meaning of Julian Assange.

More from the LRB:

Andrew O’Hagan on Julian Assange
‘I’d never been with a person who had such a good cause and such a poor ear.’

Frank Kermode on the Name of the Rose
‘This novel has so much in it that differs from any known kind of detective story that we must look to Eco’s pre-semiotic career for help.’

Jenny Diski on Eco and ugliness
‘The breadth of Eco’s search spreads out to include disgust, horror, fear, obscenity, misogyny, perversity, bigotry, social exclusiveness, repression, inexplicability, evil, deformation, degradation, heterogeneity.’

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