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On Ugliness - Umberto Eco

On Ugliness

By: Umberto Eco (Editor), Alastair McEwen (Translator)

Paperback Published: 29th September 2011
ISBN: 9780857051622
Number Of Pages: 456

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Beauty and ugliness are two sides of the same coin; by ugliness we usually mean the opposite of beauty and we often define the first in order to understand the nature of the second. But the various depictions of ugliness over the centuries are richer and more unpredictable than is commonly thought. The striking images and anthological quotations in On Ugliness lead us on an extraordinary journey through the passions, terrors and nightmares of almost three thousand years, where acts of rejection go hand in hand with touching instances of empathy, and an aversion to deformity is accompanied by seductive violations of all classical canons.

With his characteristic wit and erudition, Umberto Eco draws on examples in art and literature from ancient times to the present day. Abundantly illustrated with demons, madmen, vile enemies and disquieting presences, with freaks and the living dead, On Ugliness is conceived for a vast and diverse readership, and is an invaluable companion volume to On Beauty.

About the Editor

Umberto Eco is recognized as one of our outstanding living writers whose bestselling novels include The Name of the Rose (1982), Foucault's Pendulum (1989), The Island of the Day Before (1995) and Baudolino (2002). His illustrated works On Beauty (2004) and The Infinity of Lists (2009) are companion volumes to On Ugliness . Alastair McEwen is the translator of some of Italy's finest living writers, among them Antonio Tabucchi, Sandro Veronesi, Fleur Jaeggy and Alessandro Baricco.

Industry Reviews

'guaranteed to deliver all kinds of provocative and arcane delights. Like most of Eco's work, it defies ready classification, but is surely the better for that. Highly recommended' Historical Novels Review. * Historical Novels Review *

Introduction. Ugliness in the Classical World: A World Dominated by Beauty?; The Greek World and Horror. Passion, Death, Martyrdom: The 'Pancalistic' View of the Universe; The Suffering of Christ; Martyrs, Hermits, Penitents; The Triumph of Death. The Apocalypse, Hell and the Devil: A Universe of Horrors; Hell; The Metamorphosis of the Devil. Monsters and Portents: Prodigies and Monsters; An Aesthetic of the Measureless; The Moralisation of Monsters; The Mirabilia; The Destiny of Monsters. The Ugly, the Comic, the Obscene; Priapus; Satires on the Peasantry and Carnival Festivities; The Renaissance and Liberation; Caricature. The Ugliness of Woman Between Antiquity and the Baroque Period: The Anti-female Tradition; Mannerism and the Baroque. The Devil in the Modern World: From Rebellious Satan to Poor Mephistopheles; The Demonisation of the Enemy. Witchcraft, Satanism, Sadism: The Witch; Satanism, Sadism and the Taste for Cruelty. Physica curiosa: Lunar Births and Disembowelled Corpses; Physiognomy. Romanticism and the Redemption of Ugliness: The Philosophies of Ugliness; Ugly and Damned; Ugly and Unhappy; Unhappy and Ill. The Uncanny. Iron Towers and Ivory Towers: Industrial Ugliness; Decadentism and the Licentiousness of the Ugly. The Avant-Garde and the Triumph of Ugliness. The Ugliness of Others, Kitsch and Camp: The Ugliness of Others; Kitsch; Camp. Ugliness Today. Essential Bibliography. Bibliographical References of Translations. Index of Authors and Other Sources. Index of Artists. Credits.

ISBN: 9780857051622
ISBN-10: 0857051628
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 456
Published: 29th September 2011
Publisher: Quercus Publishing Plc
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.5 x 15.0  x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.86
Edition Number: 1

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Umberto Eco

About the Author


Umberto Eco has written works of fiction, literary criticism and philosophy.

His first novel, The Name Of The Rose, was a major international bestseller. His other works include Foucault's Pendulum, The Island Of The Day Before, Baudolino, The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana and The Prague Cemetery, along with many brilliant collections of essays.

He passed away at age 84.

Visit Umberto Eco's Booktopia Author Page


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