This is a big volume. Having been on and off for the book, I finally finished. The title is attracting, at least for me. It has some sort of intellectual quality that appeals to me to open the book. Well done, editor!
The sections are similar to other essay books, nothing special for Umberto Eco, well, I thought his essays should be categorised with more interesting titles. Anyway, I am ok with “On hatred and death”, “On Mass Media” and so on.
Essays are fine to read, especially in the beginning of the book. It does justify that he is an intellectual, and speaks brilliantly on the matter. However, the mid- and later part of the book get lost in the rambling. Given the written years of the essay, it’s inevitable for Eco to ramble about side effects on a medicine package, of course, he has been sarcastic, I get it, but still, the value of putting such an article or a piece of very low entry level blog like composition to the book is neither smart nor appealing to intellectuals or readers.
After all, it’s good to read the collection, but speaking about essay writing, heads up to Susan Sontag, and I’ve seen no one surpassed her yet.
(I didn’t answer the question in the title yet, did I? Well, that’s might be one of the problems in the book as well.)