Inventing the Enemy covers a wide range of topics on which Umberto Eco has written and lectured for the past ten years, from a disquisition on the theme that runs through his most recent novel, The Prague Cemetery — every country needs an enemy, and if it doesn’t have one, must invent it — to a discussion of ideas that have inspired his earlier novels. Along the way, he takes us on an exploration of lost islands, mythical realms, and the medieval world. Eco also sheds light on the indignant reviews of James Joyce’s Ulysses by fascist journalists of the 1920s and 1930s, and provides a lively examination of Saint Thomas Aquinas’s notions about the soul of an unborn child, censorship, violence, and WikiLeaks. These are essays full of passion, curiosity, and obsessions by one of the world’s most esteemed scholars and critically acclaimed, best-selling novelists.
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