Serendipities: Language & Lunacy
Serendipities is a careful unraveling of the fabulous and the false, a brilliant exposition of how unanticipated truths often spring from false ideas. From Leibniz's belief that the I Ching illustrated the principles of calculus to Marco Polo's mistaking a rhinoceros for a unicorn, Umberto Eco offers a dazzling tour of intellectual history, illuminating the ways in which we project the familiar onto the strange to make sense of the world. Uncovering layers of mistakes that have shaped human history, Eco offers with wit and clarity such instances as Columbus's voyage to the New World, the fictions that grew around the Rosicrucians and Knights Templar, and the linguistic endeavors to recreate the language of Babel, to show how serendipities can evolve out of mistakes. With erudition, anecdotes, and scholarly rigor, this new collection of essays is sure to entertain and enlighten any reader with a passion for the curious history of languages and ideas.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
2 LANGUAGES IN PARADISE
3 FROM MARCO POLO TO LEIBNIZ
4 THE LANGUAGE OF THE AUSTRAL LAND
5THE LINGUISTICS OF JOSEPH DE MAISTRE
Other editions - View all
Abraham Abulafia Abulafia Adam Adamic language already ancient animals Austral language Babel background books believe binary calculus Borges called century China Christian Cosmas culture Dante Dante's demonstrate Descartes divine Divine Comedy earth Egyptian etymology Europe example existence express fact false Foigny forma locutionis Genesis grammar Greek guage Hebrew Hebrew language Hermes Trismegistus Hieroglyphica hieroglyphs Hillel Horapollus human hypothesis idea ideograms interpretation invented Isidore of Seville Italian Jesuit JOSEPH DE MAISTRE Kircher knew Latin Leibniz letters lingua linguistic locutio Maistre Marco Polo means metaphor Modistae mystical natural languages notion original Paradise perfect language Prester John primitive priori philosophical language problem Ptolemy refer represented Rosicrucians sacred secret seems signs sounds speak spoken stork story Thesis things thought tion tongue tradition translation truth unicorns universal vernacular Vulgari Eloquentia Wilkins words writing ydioma Zerakhya