As Some of you know Umberto Eco bought a few books from me on his trips through Cambridge, mostly wonderful and odd books. and Like Steven J. Gould he was looking for books which in a sustained and enthusiastic way concepts which today are considered “WRONG” an idea they shared as very exposing of what “history might become”
In fondo, è solo un trucco<. Is a perfect way to sum it up!
Last February, the news came that Umberto Eco’s library would pass under the protection of the Italian state. His modern library, including his archives, would be preserved at the University of Bologna, while Eco’s ancient library would be kept by the Braidense National Library in Milan.
Despite becoming one of the world’s leading medievalists and a ground-breaking figure in premodern studies, Eco never lost his sense of wonder at the strangeness of the medieval world. Nothing better reflects this than the title he bestowed on his library, the Biblioteca Semiologica Curiosa, Lunatica, Magica et Pneumatica. Curious, wacky, magical and spiritual, not that there are clear links between the four epithets. The world of medieval books comes across in all its lunacy, its lunaticitas, as if medieval letters were struck by madness with every cycle of the moon, luna. In a way they…
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