• Home

The Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture by Umberto Eco


May 4, 2008 | The Great Hall at Cooper Union | New York City

With Umberto Eco & Adam Gopnik; introduced by Francine Prose

The PEN World Voices Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture, established in collaboration with the Arthur Miller Estate, was presented by Italian writer, philosopher, critic, and professor Umberto Eco, whose body of work has made invaluable contributions to the fields of semiotics, aesthetics, medievalism, and literary theory.

Discussed: how fiction and “untruth” inform our reality; the missing bullet in Stendhal’s Le Rouge et le Noir; indisputable truths in fictional texts; hypertexts and the creation of new forms of literature; the “American disease” of deconstructive criticism; the benefits of “slow reading” and translating Gérard de Nerval’s Sylvie after 40 years; distinctions between natural and artificial narrative; the necessity of teaching the art of discrimination in schools; language as a biological entity.

• Entire event (1:10:28)

• Umberto Eco discusses the advantages of fiction for life and death (25:54)
• Conversation with Umberto Eco & Adam Gopnik (39:43) 

PEN Blogs

• Antonio Romani:
Domenica 4 Maggio alle 6,30 in punto, presso la Cooper Union, Umberto Eco ha tenuto la Third Annual Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture a conclusione del Pen World Voices Festival of International Literature…[More]

• Claudio Ivan Remeseira:
Listening to Umberto Eco give his Arthur Miller Lecture in front of a packed and fascinated auditorium at Cooper Union last Sunday night, one can easily understand the reason of his world-wide appeal…[More]