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The Book of Legendary Lands

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  631 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
A fascinating illustrated tour of the fabled places in literature and folklore that have awed, troubled, and eluded us through the ages. From the epic poets of antiquity to contemporary writers of science fiction, from the authors of the Holy Scriptures to modern raconteurs of fairy tales, writers and storytellers through the ages have invented imaginary and mythical lands ...more
Hardcover, 477 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by Rizzoli Ex Libris (first published 2013)
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Steffi
Das ist ein wunderschönes Buch – zum Anschauen, weniger zum Lesen. Oder zumindest nicht zum am Stück lesen.
Das heißt, die Illustrationen sind wunderbar ausgewählt und gut reproduziert: Da findet man alte Landkarten, mittelalterliche Skizzen, Gemälde, Illustrationen von Gustave Doré, Grandville und vielen anderen. Das macht definitiv viel Freude.

Aber die Texte sind oft seltsam uninspiriert, ständig vermisse ich den ironisierenden Ton Ecos, den ich aus seinen Romanen kenne. Auch werden manchmal fa
...more
Michael
Ich muss zugeben, dass ich von Ecos GESCHICHTE ein wenig enttäuscht war. Sehr sachlich und knapp geschrieben reiht Eco die Kapitel über legendäre Länder und Städte aneinander und ich konnte mich des Eindrucks nicht erwehren, dass es sich um eine Gelgenheitsarbeit gehandelt hat, an die Eco kein Herzblut gegeben hat. Das Bildmaterial ist wunderbar, und auch die Quellentexte, die eingearbeitet sind, sind interessant. Aber Leseglück kam nicht auf. Wahrscheinlich schneidet das Buch besser ab, wenn ma ...more
T4ncr3d1
Se vi aspettate le terre fantastiche dei romanzi, da Laputa alla Terra di Mezzo a Westeros, cambiate libro.
In questa Storia delle terre e dei luoghi leggendari Eco sceglie di concentrarsi su quei luoghi che oggi non trovano posto sulle carte geografiche, ma che a lungo, alcuni sin dall'antichità, altri solo recentemente, sono stati creduti realmente esistenti, e collocati di volta in volta nelle più disparate posizioni del globo terracqueo: dagli Antipodi alle Colonne d'Ercole, da Atlantide a El
...more
Fede
Sep 24, 2015 Fede rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Libro incredibilmente affascinante, che affronta le storie collegate ai luoghi che sin dall'alba dei tempi popolano le leggende degli uomini.

Ho trovato molto interessante non solo la materia in sé, che ha ampliato non poco le mie conoscenze, ma anche il modo in cui Eco ha gestito l'esposizione. L'autore presenta le proprie ricerche e considerazioni e poi diversi brani tratti direttamente dai testi che ha citato durante la sua trattazione, il tutto contornato da bellissime immagini. Ho letto in
...more
Claudia
Feb 12, 2015 Claudia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: myths-related
Thoroughly documented, it has a lot of facts and dates, not to mention the multitude of quotes from different other authors, in regard to each particular place. And it has a lot of illustrations (famous paintings, ancient maps, etc) which, for me, were the best part of the book. Overall, quite interesting but no so captivating.

The edition is exquisite: hardcover, glossy pages, colored illustrations – a small and heavy jewel :)
Andrés
Dec 31, 2013 Andrés rated it it was amazing
This is not an easy book to review. The subject matter is definitely fascinating. The author takes us on a trip through almost every legendary land/place imaginable, from the many variations of Atlantis, through Thule, Mu, the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, the myth of the Sangraal and the knights of Arthur's Court; he even talks at length about Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" and the sources it's based upon.

But what is this book about? Does he propose theories as to where we can find these fab
...more
Barbora
Jan 01, 2017 Barbora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-czech
Když už člověk dostane ve škole zadání, vybrat si ze seznamu doporučené četby knihu a tu rozebrat v seminární práci, pak je logicky nejlepší, když studenta kniha svým tématem, nebo (i) zpracováním chytne a nakopne mysl k velkoprodukci inteligentních myšlenek.

Mě se to poštěstilo (alespoň, co se té části se zaujetím týče, jestli bude seminárka napsaná inteligentně, to posoudí pedagog) s Ecovými "Dějinami legendárních zemí a míst".

Mýty, legendy, pověsti, vymyšlená místa a jejich obyvatelstvo je ně
...more
Nosemonkey
Dec 30, 2013 Nosemonkey rated it liked it
I was expecting something more like On Beauty, but it's nowhere near as considered or insightful. Little more than a brief overview of the key texts from a number of legends followed by excerpts from those texts, which just demonstrate that the overviews were accurate.

There's little broader context given, and no real attempt to analyse the meanings of these legends. Nor is there any attempt to be comprehensive. An odd book, and more than a touch disappointing. Nice pictures, though, and readable
...more
Emilian Kasemi
Oct 31, 2013 Emilian Kasemi marked it as to-read
Shelves: art
Il nuovo libro di Umberto Eco!
Intitolato “Storie delle terre leggendarie” e farà parte dei testi “Storia della bellezza” e “Storia della bruttezza”. In un intervista Eco ha detto che questi sono libri che fa per divertirsi. “Non sono importanti, ma possono servire a chi piace studiare”.
http://www.revistaenie.clarin.com/ide...
Chiamartini95
Apr 02, 2017 Chiamartini95 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quali sono quei luoghi che possono essere definiti leggendari e che hanno fatto la storia di alcune delle culture più grandi e importanti?
A questa domanda alquanto ostica ci risponde Eco che, con questo bellissimo tomo illustrato, ci riporta alcune fra le più importanti e antiche storie di luoghi e città leggendarie. Grazie all'inserimento delle fonti che ce ne parlano Eco smentisce e/o confuta le varie teorie e ipotesi su questi luoghi intrisi di magia e mistero; in più, le illustrazioni rendo
...more
Angigames
Libro interessante e bello, sia da vedere che da sfogliare
Per ogni luogo leggendario, sia esso veramente mitico o fatto diventare tale grazie a storie, racconti o leggende, Eco fa del suddetto luogo una presentazione personale e poi lascia che siano gli autori citati nella sua introduzione a parlare, tramite pezzi dei loro testi.
Beh… affascinate e molto istruttivo, ma sinceramente mi aspettavo qualcosa di diverso e di sicuramente più approfondito da parte dell’autore. Volevo che fosse lui a par
...more
nettebuecherkiste
„Hier interessieren uns jedoch Länder und Örtlichkeiten, an die sich heutzutage oder in der Vergangenheit Hirngespinste, Utopien und Illusionen geknüpft haben, weil viele Menschen wirklich glaubten, dass sie irgendwo existierten oder existiert hätten.“ So erklärt Umberto Eco die Intention eines seiner letzten Werke im Vorort. Ein äußerst spannendes Thema, das mich mit hohen Erwartungen an dieses Sachbuch herangehen ließ. Das Buch ist in 15 Kapitel untergliedert, die sich beispielsweise mit den L ...more
Davide Nole
Il libro presenta un grosso problema strutturale che rende difficile darne un giudizio univoco.

Da un lato la cura estetica e di ricerca dei testi e` di livello molto alto, sono presenti molte pagine con fotografie, dipinti e carte che valgono la pena dell'acquisto (probabilmente). A ogni capitolo, che tratta di un luogo , solitamente, e` affiancata una sezione di antologia con i testi piu` significativi, secondo Eco, che narrano appunto del luogo stesso.

Dall'altro il testo vero e proprio del lib
...more
Emma Sea
Where this is brilliant is as an art history book, giving the context for a huge variety of works: maps (lots of luscious yummy maps), paintings, illuminated and illustrated manuscripts, decorative art works, etc. If I was richer I'd buy a copy to keep just for the maps. The book has a lovely heft, and I like it very much as a physical object.

The writing is exceptionally-well referenced. Each section finishes with a selection of original texts. So, I guess, It's Eco's writing where I felt let d
...more
Nellie Airoldi
Nessuno si offenda o ne abbia a male se dico che Storia delle terre e dei luoghi leggendari è soprattutto una trovata commerciale. Il tema, già attraente di suo, viene esaltato da illustrazioni divine e piccole perle artistiche che, è da dirlo, sono state ricercate in modo attento e accurato. Peccato, però, che ogni capitolo sia semplicemente un discorso generale, un piccolo input che spinge il lettore a fare ricerche di suo, a informarsi sull'argomento e correre in biblioteca a prendere tutte q ...more
Kate
Mar 29, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, 2014
I really liked this book. It wasn't what I was expecting, though. For some reason I expected it to be about literary lands (the misunderstanding is my fault because I briefly heard of it and decided to read it without even reading the description). It is actually about various lands that aren't real, but that people have really searched for. Like Atlantis.

It is fascinating, and full of interesting facts that I kept reading aloud to Joel. It also ends with a wonderful chapter discussing how these
...more
Terry Calafato
Nov 14, 2013 Terry Calafato marked it as can-t-go-on  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
Ok, forse ho preso in mano questo libro nel momento sbagliato.
Per correttezza verso me stessa, lo colloco al momento tra i miei "can't go on"...poi si vedrà u_u
Thorwald Franke
Nov 27, 2013 Thorwald Franke rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, inspiring and also sophisticated book!

Umberto Eco managed to write a book which is fully equal to similar already existing works such as "The Atlas of Legendary Lands" or "Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms". Very convincing the selection of images: There are several we did not know, yet. From an aesthetic point of view a really beautiful book! And very convincing, too, the textual elaboration.

On the basis of Atlantis for example we see clearly that Umberto Eco did not just copy what oth
...more
Merel
Feb 15, 2017 Merel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mooi overzicht van de plekken waarvan men tegen willens en wetens in dacht dat ze waar waren. Heerlijk sarcastische ondertoon.
Net op het moment dat je je lekker zit te verkneukelen aan de gekkigheid van mensen laat UE zien dat dit ook heel serieuze gevolgen kan hebben: de nazi's hadden ook ideeën over een land waar superieure mensen vandaan kwamen (en dat was niet Duitsland). Een noodzakelijke klap in je gezicht.
Eindigt met een lief en interessant stukje over dat hoewel we in de 'echte' wereld o
...more
Bettie☯
Feb 23, 2014 Bettie☯ marked it as wish-list
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Brain Pickings
Eco writes in the introduction:

Legendary lands and places are of various kinds and have only one characteristic in common: whether they depend on ancient legends whose origins are lost in the mists of time or whether they are an effect of a modern invention, they have created flows of belief. The reality of these illusions is the subject of this book.

Saint-Sever World Map, from the 'Saint-Sever Beatus,' 1086

T and O map, Bartholomaeus Angelicus, 'Le livre des propriétés des choses,' 1392

Map of Pa
...more
Abra
Oct 31, 2013 Abra rated it liked it
I love Umberto Eco's fiction. This is not that. This is part encyclopedia, part coffee table art book. It did not entice me into reading it all the way through, though I was entertained by skimming. It catalogs lands and places of legend, lifting out the passages that describe them in myths and older texts, and illustrating them with the paintings they've inspired. It's beautiful and interesting. Not something I need to own, but definitely something that I'll need to read again if I ever write s ...more
Devero
Oct 07, 2013 Devero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sulla falsariga di "Storia della Bellezza" e "Storia della Bruttezza" un terzo saggio, nella stessa lussuosa veste editoriale. Ricco di fotografie a colori stampate su carta patinata di alto pregio e con un buon apparato bibliografico, ricco di citazioni, affronta l'argomento delle Terre Leggendarie esplicitamente escludendo quelle di origine letterario, a meno che, come Utopia, non vantino comunque o precedenti non letterari o un'evoluzione mitico-leggendaria in qualche periodo storico. Una buo ...more
GONZA
Mar 22, 2015 GONZA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meraviglioso, come lettrice di lunga data di Martin Mystere pochi di questi luoghi mi erano completamente sconosciuti, ma approfondire, per esempio, l'origine di Atlantide e Mu, fa sempre piacere. Immagini eccezionali e didascalie che ricollegano a libri da leggere che allungano ulteriormente la mia giá infinita lista.
Adan
Jan 02, 2014 Adan rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book! Drawing together mythology, legend, frauds, geography, criticism, history, and art (so much great art), Eco succinctly explains the genesis and belief behind many of the world's legendary lands. And a whole chapter to taking down Dan Brown and his insistence that The Da Vinci Code is at all based on historical facts. Highly recommended for everyone!
Peter Van
In tegenstelling tot vorige boeken in deze serie vind ik dit boek wat onevenwichtig en fragmentarisch. Veel van de onderwerpen waar we hier over lezen komen ook uitgebreid terug in eerdere werken van Eco (met name in Baudolino en De mysterieuze vlam van koningin Luana) waardoor dit ook enigszins overkomt als een herhaling van zetten. Onderhoudend als altijd bij Eco maar lichtelijk teleurstellend.
Tammy
Apr 17, 2014 Tammy rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
Was more map-centric than I expected, I was looking for more stories and fables than explanations about them... BUT really enjoyed the explanations and backgrounds around each legendary place. Going to see if I have a map that shows Wachusett Reef now.
Fredösphere
This is a beautiful book, and I'm really glad I own a copy, but realistically...I'm never going to finish it. The interest level just isn't there.
Riley Haas
Jan 04, 2017 Riley Haas rated it really liked it
"This is a history of human beings' invented worlds, not specifically from fiction but rather (mostly) worlds which human beings invented to explain the unknown parts of the earth, which exploration and science hadn't yet revealed.
The chapters cover worlds such as Atlantis, Shangri La, and numerous other fabled lands. Each chapter is further supported by excerpts from many of the referenced texts.
Eco isn't always obvious in his purpose - though if you have read Foucault's Pendulum, for example,
...more
Nicolás
Jan 18, 2017 Nicolás rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book, highly recommended
Maria
Dec 24, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it
fascinating
(and done for the year)
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1730
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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“Often the object of a desire, when desire is transformed into hope, becomes more real than reality itself.” 2 likes
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