I Am Joe’s Blog:

June 16, 2005 • 8:46 AM

The Name of the Author

Anyone who reads Interesting Thing of the Day regularly has probably noticed that Umberto Eco is one of my favorite authors. Last night I had the pleasure of attending a lecture by Dr. Eco—OK, it was more of a live interview with Michael Krasny, from local NPR affiliate station KQED. Eco talked for about an hour and a half, then answered questions from the audience and signed autographs. I picked up a copy of his latest novel, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, and also got an autographed copy of Foucault’s Pendulum, one of my favorite novels of all time.

The thing that struck me most about Eco was that he’s not only incredibly smart, he’s really funny. The audience laughed a lot—though admittedly, there were a lot of “in” jokes that only made sense to those with substantial literary chops. And the talk was inspiring, too. As someone who’s immersed in the somewhat tedious work of writing one technical book and article after another, I found it fascinating to hear about his process of constructing novels, which sounds like great fun. In fact, to hear it put the way he described it, it sounds like something I could enjoy.

I’ll add that to my list, right after I get caught up reading all of Eco’s books. So, maybe 2009 or so.

Comments

  1. October 27th, 2005 | 10:09 am

    […] Ordinarily, I’m not much of an autograph enthusiast. Or, rather, I’ll enthusiastically sign autographs, but I don’t collect them. I made exceptions for Douglas Adams and Umberto Eco, and a few other geeky types whose names most people wouldn’t recognize. Earlier this week, I made another exception. I went to a presentation and book signing at a local Sur La Table, where two legendary food scientists (if food scientists can be legendary) came to share their expertise with the small assembled crowd. […]

  2. November 7th, 2005 | 10:17 am

    […] Peter gave a delightful presentation at Book Passage in Corte Madera (just north of San Francisco), where all the biggest writers seem to show up when in northern California. Afterward, when Morgen and I went up for the obligatory autograph (I do seem to be collecting an unusual number of those, don’t I?), I told him that his books had completely changed our eating habits and had been responsible for our taking multiple trips to France (he remarked that it looked good on us); few people can claim to have had such an influence on our lives. Judging by the other comments and questions I heard, he gets that sort of thing a lot. […]

  3. April 13th, 2013 | 2:54 pm

    […] sign autographs, but I don’t collect them. I made exceptions for Douglas Adams and Umberto Eco, and a few other geeky types whose names most people wouldn’t recognize. Earlier this week, I […]

  4. April 13th, 2013 | 2:58 pm

    […] when Morgen and I went up for the obligatory autograph (I do seem to be collecting an unusual number of those, don’t I?), I told him that his books had completely changed our eating habits and […]

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