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Construir o Inimigo e outros escritos ocasionais

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  578 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Il vero titolo di questa raccolta avrebbe dovuto essere il suo sottotitolo, ovvero "scritti occasionali". Solo la giusta preoccupazione dell'editore, che un titolo così pomposamente modesto potesse non attirare l'attenzione del lettore, mentre quello del primo saggio presenta qualche motivo di curiosità, ha fatto propendere per la scelta finale. La virtù di uno scritto occ ...more
Paperback, 312 pages
Published September 2011 by Gradiva (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jonfaith
Dec 18, 2016 Jonfaith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
But humanity has been unable to relinquish (even in part) its attachment to its own aromas, tastes, sounds, and tactile pleasures--and to relinquish producing fire through friction. Perhaps it should have left the production of fire to the gods, who would have given it to us only once in a while, in the form of a thunderbolt.

Lovely collection of late (2012) essays on a broad range of fascinating subjects. My favorites concerned Piero Camporesi, imaginary islands and navigation and the Fascist re
...more
Evripidis Gousiaris
Μοναδικός!
Hadrian
Sep 01, 2012 Hadrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
INVENTING THE ENEMY is a persistent little quirk in all of us. A society, in order to be cohesive, must have something to fight against. It may be something good or incorporeal to fight against, like poverty or disease. It may be something fictional - a movie or video game enemy, or invented. Or it is something else in our tribal nature, and to fight other human beings, with a real cause to hate, or a manufactured fear and hatred.

This may be a favorite topic of Eco's, and one which he discusses
...more
Philippe Malzieu
I read all the Eco Books. This one is special. It's not a novel. He has been published in France yesterday. I don't find english version. This book makes me think of "My unwritten books" of Georgs Steiner. I find that Steiner and Eco resemble themselves. Same encyclopaedic knowledge, same sense of humour, two monuments.
Eco inspires him from the reflection of a Pakistani taxi driver who does not understand why a country does not have any enemy. Eco notices that country currently needs to create
...more
Léonard Gaya
"Construire l'ennemi" est une compilation d'articles et de conférences. Umberto Eco y aborde divers sujets avec son érudition et son foisonnement habituels : l'image de l'étranger ou de l'ennemi, les notions d'absolu et de relatif, la poétique du feu, la gastronomie fromagère, la doctrine chrétienne concernant les morts-nés, le style de Victor Hugo, les cartes imaginaires de la Terre et du Ciel, l'artifice narratif de la reconnaissance, la réception critique de Joyce en Italie, le topos des îles ...more
Leonard
Sep 13, 2015 Leonard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book has several thought provoking talks, including "Inventing the Enemy."


"Having an enemy is important not only to define our identity but also to provide us with an obstacle against which to measure our system of values and, in seeking to overcome it, to demonstrate our own worth. So when there is no enemy, we have to invent one."
From "Inventing the Enemy"
Ned Rifle
Mildly entertaining, but left with an overwhelming wish to just have him let me at his library rather than listen to him.
Valentina
Feb 28, 2016 Valentina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ensayos
"Desde el principio se construyen como enemigos no tanto a los que son diferentes y que nos amenazan directamente, sino a aquellos que alguien tiene interés en representar como amenazadores aunque no nos amenacen directamente, de modo que lo que ponga de relieve su diversidad no sea su carácter de amenaza, sino que sea su diversidad misma la que se convierta en señal de amenaza."
Arda
Nov 06, 2014 Arda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant. Umberto Eco is a force to be reckoned with!
Marleen
Sep 22, 2013 Marleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
According to the introduction this book was originally going to be titled “Occasional Writings”. Which leads us to the question what “occasional writings” actually are. To quote the author:

“They are generally on topics about which the author had no specific interest. He was, instead, encouraged to write each one after being invited to contribute to a series of discussions or essays on a particular theme. It captured the author’s interest and encouraged him to reflect on something he might otherw
...more
Clay Kallam
Jul 15, 2015 Clay Kallam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
A collection of essays without a theme is like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates -- and in this case, Umberto Eco's offerings were simply too European for this American's taste.

And by "European," I don't mean to imply superiority, overt or otherwise, or inferiority. The issue is that Eco constantly refers to books and writers and concepts that are European in origin and in use, and which are often simply opaque to American readers.

"I am Edmund Dantes" might be the worst offender overall, but almo
...more
GONZA
Mar 18, 2015 GONZA rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vari saggi che Eco raccoglie in questo volume molto scorrevole e a tratti particolarmente interessante. Secondo me i migliori sono "Costruire il nemico" appunto, che da il titolo al testo e racconta come dalla preistoria in poi, raccontare un nemico fornendone dettagli orrendi abbia sempre funzionato. "Embrioni fuori dal paradiso" su Tommaso D'Acquino e l'anima, "Il gruppo '63" che raccoglieva alcuni scrittori ed artisti all'epoca ancora poco famosi. Il saggio su Victor Hugo, che mi sento di con ...more
Nick
Jan 26, 2013 Nick rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A mixed range of short essays, the strongest of which is the title one 'Inventing the Enemy', and for my geographical interest 'Imaginary Astronomies' in which historical map-making and the quest for utopias is combined. With such eclectic interests, some of Eco's essays are hard to get enthusiastic about - I'm not that enamoured by the prospect of deconstructing Victor Hugo's overwrought prose and plot structures - and one essay which hints at a degree of anti-Semitism, unless I have missed som ...more
Kichi
Sep 17, 2015 Kichi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
From Heraclitus' philosophy to the exposés by Julian Assange, Umberto Eco takes another intellectual foray which charms and provokes.
Loreley
Jan 22, 2016 Loreley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, italian
ყველაზე მეტად მომეწონა:

- მტრის ხატის შექმნა
- ემბრიონები სასუფეველს მიღმა
- ჰიუგო, hélas! სიჭარბის პოეტიკა
- "ველინები" და დუმილი
- წარმოსახვითი ასტრონომია
- რატომ ვერ პოულობენ კუნძულს
Dainius Jocas
Apr 19, 2015 Dainius Jocas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patiko fragmentai iš visokių senų knygų.
Louai Roumani
Nov 02, 2016 Louai Roumani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another mind-boggling and intellectually stimulating masterpiece by Umberto Eco. Eco's works can appear overwhelming, due to his sheer erudition and multi-layered philosopical analysis and referencing. Yet this book with 14 short essays, each tackling an otherwise mundane subject, manages to uplift one's interest in all of them with Eco's brilliant anthropological analysis. His sense of humour is subtle, and with such wisdom emanating from his writing, you would not wish for it to be anymore exc ...more
Penelope Kopala
Nov 22, 2016 Penelope Kopala rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eco's essays give food for thought as always.
Sergei_kalinin
Я давний поклонник текстов Умберто Эко, но эта книга что-то "не пошла"(((.

Возможно, причина этого в чрезмерной неоднородности статей, вошедших в данный сборник.

Некоторые из них мне показались очень банальными. Например, вводное эссе "Сотвори себе врага", за исключением смачных цитат и пассажей о врагах из средневековых трактатов, не поведало ничего нового о "феномене врага", чего не знал бы средне-гуманитарно-образованный читатель. Для сравнения могу сослаться на статью того же Эко (из другого
...more
Ypatios Varelas
Jan 01, 2017 Ypatios Varelas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Άλλο ένα βιβλίο του Ουμπέρτο Έκο; Και ναι και όχι. Όσοι γνώρισαν τον Έκο ως μυθιστοριογράφο μέσα από "Το όνομα του ρόδου" ή κάποιο άλλο από τα ευπώλητα βιβλία του πιθανότατα θα απογοητευτούν από αυτό το βιβλίο. Αλλά όχι μόνο αυτοί!

Το βιβλίο είναι μία συρραφή από άσχετα μεταξύ τους κείμενα, που το μόνο κοινό που έχουν είναι ο συγγραφέας και το ύφος του. Ο Έκο εδώ παίζει αρκετά με τις λέξεις, όμως τα κείμενα δεν έχουν κάποιο κεντρικό θέμα και αναφέρονται σε διάφορα θέματα που ενδιαφέρουν τον Έκο
...more
Jackie Law
Apr 06, 2014 Jackie Law rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Inventing the Enemy' by Umberto Eco is an eclectic collection of fourteen essays with an Introduction by this master writer and thinker. Source material comes from lectures and articles written over a ten year period covering topics as diverse as ancient astronomy, medical ethics and Wikileaks; with explorations of responses to literature, narrative devices, conflict and global exploration in between.

As is typical of the author's work these essays cannot be rushed; they demand and deserve prope
...more
Etienne Mahieux
Un jour, j'entendais Umberto Eco parler à la radio ; de passage à Paris, il avait été invité par France Inter de manière quelque peu improvisée, et presque pour le plaisir, et commentait l'actualité : on venait de découvrir les photographies des tortionnaires d'Abu Ghraib. Et j'avais admiré avec quel brio jovial il avait dénoncé les évidences ressassées à ce sujet comme autant de vieilles lunes et avait pointé la véritable nouveauté du phénomène, celle qui déclenchait le malaise général. C'était ...more
Dennis Vickers
Aug 27, 2013 Dennis Vickers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like many readers, I discovered Umberto Eco through his novel The Name of the Rose. In that book I greatly enjoyed the snippets of history -- obscure nuggets of information that pique the reader’s interest. This book of essays has the same quality and I greatly enjoyed it as well. Eco seems to have an endless supply of tidbits from obscure sources, many of them hundreds of years old, sources I’ll never read as originals because they’re written in languages I don’t read.

One reviewer praises Eco’s
...more
Andrada
Nov 16, 2015 Andrada rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
As a well-read intellectual, Umberto Eco can and probably will discuss any subject you put before him with seeming ease. Does that make for an interesting read? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It becomes fairly clear when he is passionate and at ease with what he’s discussing and when he’s pushing his vast knowledge into a niche it may or may not belong in.

Some essays were clearly aimed at an Italian public, I’m thinking here of the Grupo 63 reunion piece in particular, which mentioned a lot of le
...more
Zuzana Kucharová
Inteligentné, zábavné a nové pohľady prinášajúce. Napr. zaujalo:
- "Pokúšať sa pochopiť druhého znamená zničiť zaužívanú predstavu o ňom, a pritom nepoprieť alebo nezmazať jeho inakosť. Ale buďme realisti. Tieto formy pochopenia nepriateľa sú vlastné básnikom, svätcom alebo zradcom."
- "Očividnosť tej steny, čo vraví "nie!", keď ju chceme interpretovať akoby neexistovala, je možno kritériom pravdy pomerne skromným pre strážcov Absolútna, no aby som parafrázoval Keatsa: "iné nič neviete a vedieť
...more
Ints
Apr 24, 2014 Ints rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ne visi stāsti spēja mani paraut, bet tie kas parāva tie parāva. Labākās esejas ir "Inventing the enemy" -kādēļ mums personīgi un pat tautām ir nepieciešami ienaidnieki. "Treasure hunting" - jauks apraksts par svēto relikvijām, pavisam nedaudz par to ietekmi uz kultūru. "No embryos in Paradise" Akvīnas toma darba analīzē par embrija dvēseli un kāpēc katoļu baznīca ir pretrunā ar tā laika dogmām. "Censorship and silence" - par vārda brīvību mūsdienās un kā mēs paši to ierobežojam, vienkārši nepro ...more
Matthew
Nov 05, 2012 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
A highly enjoyable collection of "occasional writings" from Eco. (A tangent: Eco, ever so unflamboyant, would have named the book itself Occasional Writings if his editor hadn't intervened and suggested the flashier title. Eco's consistent naïveté to the conventions of the entertaining writer have always amused me.)
As is usual for his style, he sometimes says little in very many words, but when he's as good a storyteller as he is, who can complain?
In at least two stories, he veers into short fi
...more
Sharang Limaye
I was tempted to go with just one star but then realized it reflected badly on Mr. Eco, for no fault of his. The error here is clearly on the part of the compiler of this book of essays. The problem is not so much that the topics have no relevance to one another; its that they have no relevance.. period. For anyone with no understanding of Italian literature, this book is all Greek and Latin. I feel Mr. Eco would have made a lot of sense while speaking/writing this stuff in his native Italian. T ...more
Cassandra
Dec 03, 2013 Cassandra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
Difficult, as Eco is sometimes (perhaps often) abstruse, and the essays run the gamut from things that I find very interesting ("Imaginary Astronomies," "Censorship and Silence") to things which I found too archly clever to enjoy ("Living by Proverbs") or simply as densely excessive as the literature they are examining ("Fermented Delights," "I Am Edmund Dantes!"). It was worth the reading, but it is enough Eco for quite a while, I think. The essays I enjoyed were very satisfying indeed, but the ...more
Bart
Aug 30, 2013 Bart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book for the simple reason, I am a huge fan of Umberto Eco. While these essays are shorter than his literary works, they are not the most accessible of his work. The level of intertextualism is high, even for Eco and the essays do best what they are intended to do: have you close the book for a while and think upon what you have read.

Inventing the enemy is an intelligent book, but I would only recommend it to the die-hard fans of Eco, philosophers or academics otherwise interested
...more
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Umberto Eco was an Italian writer of fiction, essays, academic texts, and children's books, and certainly one of the finest authors of the twentieth century. A professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, Eco’s brilliant fiction is known for its playful use of language and symbols, its astonishing array of allusions and references, and clever use of puzzles and narrative inventions. His pe ...more
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“For the male who dominates and writes, or by writing dominates, the woman has always been portrayed with hostility from the earliest times. Let us not be deceived by angelic descriptions of women. On the contrary, precisely because great literature is dominated by sweet, gentle creatures, the world of satire—which is that of the popular imagination—continually demonizes the woman, from antiquity, through the Middle Ages, and up to modern times.” 4 likes
“And he continues: “Thus it is increasingly necessary you recognize that other congregations of material bodies exist elsewhere in the universe, like this of our world, which the ether encircles in eager embrace” 2 likes
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