Eco displays in these essays the same wit, learning, and lively intelligence that delighted readers of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum.
The opening essay shows us the tireless and questing author traveling the lenght and breadth of America in search of places that probe the boundaries of realism, copies that promise more than the originals: wax museums, halls of fame, theme parks, zoos. «The Return of the Middle Ages» asks searching questions about our modernity; «The Global Vilage» moves from mass media to mass sports. Small gems abound, like «Lumbar Thought», in which Eco considers how blue jeans shape the man.
Eco’s range is wide, and his insights are acute, frequently ironic, and often downright funny.