Serendipities : Language and Lunacy, Paperback

Serendipities : Language and Lunacy Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The extraordinary historical consequences of errors and fictional inventions. SERENDIPITIES is an iconoclastic, dazzlingly erudite and witty demonstration, by one of the world's most brilliant thinkers, of how myths and lunacies can produce historical developments of no small significance.

In Eco's words, 'even errors can produce interesting side effects'.

Eco's book shows how: -- believers in a flat earth helped Columbus accidentally discover America -- the medieval myth of Prester John, the Christian king in Asia, assisted the European drive eastward -- the myth of the Rosicrucians affected the Masons, leading in turn to the widespread belief in a Jewish masonic plot to dominate the world and other forms of paranoid anti-Semitism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176 pages, 8Col.ill.
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Sociolinguistics
  • ISBN: 9780753808788



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Every time I pick up one of Eco's books I'm surprised just how different they are from each other. I've been disappointed so many times by authors who seem to have something to say and then end up repeating the same things over and over again book after book. I'm not an expert on history or literature but at least to a regular reader simply the amount of knowledge that Eco seems to have on the subjects he writes about, down to the smallest details, is amazing.