Nicholas Penny

  • Faith in Fakes by Umberto Eco, translated by William Weaver
    Secker, 307 pp, £15.00, August 1986, ISBN 0 436 14088 8
  • Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages by Umberto Eco, translated by Hugh Bredin
    Yale, 131 pp, £6.95, September 1986, ISBN 0 300 03676 0

The first of these books, Faith in Fakes, is a collection of essays – many of them newspaper pieces – by a ‘distinguished professor at the University of Bologna, with an international reputation as philosopher, historian and literary critic’. His subjects are novelties, many of which are now nearly forgotten. I cannot recommend anyone to reread McLuhan in order to appreciate Eco’s reservations about his theories, eminently judicious though these reservations are when compared with the enthusiasm of George Steiner or Raymond Williams. The Red Brigades, however, have not been forgotten. And people still wear blue jeans.

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