Umberto Eco's Semiotics: Theory, Methodology and Poetics
This text explores four books produced by one of the most prominent semioticians of the previous century, Umberto Eco, in order to create a semiotic meta-theory which enhances a multifarious way of “readability” and scientifically justifies the dichotomy between the creation of a work of art and its being read, visualized and experienced by the audience. It begins by treating the “narration” component as one of the main theoretical challenges of Eco’s theory, specifically focusing on the concept of time, seen from the linguistic and semiotic viewpoints. The book also explores Eco’s text theory, as well as “semiotics proper”, representing an analysis of the “encoding” and “decoding” theories. In addition, it exemplifies the “openness” and “collaboration” between the writer and the reader, as well as relationships between the creator and audience in all forms of art.
The book will appeal to scholars, students, and intellectuals who want to have a detailed knowledge of Eco’s overall contribution to semiotics, and seek a “formula” which would inter-connect informational and code theories with the narration method, so as to create what we call “interpretative semiotics” today.
Dr Bujar Hoxha is a Full Professor of Communication Sciences at the South-East European University, North Macedonia. His main scientific interests are structural semiotics, semiotics of passions, semiotics of disabilities, and existential semiotics. He received his PhD from the University of Skopje in 2008 on the semiotics of Umberto Eco. He is the author of two novels, in addition to several journal articles, including “Semiotics of Precision and Imprecision” (2016), “Multilingualism and Sameness vs. Otherness in a Semiotic Context” (2018), and “On the Applicability of the Semiotics of Passions in Images” in Humanities Bulletin (2018).
“In this publication, Dr Hoxha covers key works from Umberto Eco’s oeuvre, which he uses to build a theory of engaging texts using poetics as a method. The publication goes into considerable depth about many topics concerning Eco’s ideas. The extensive coverage of encoding and decoding of messages is particularly prominent and features in various chapters in this book. Dr Hoxha elegantly weaves between semiotic, aesthetics and linguistic theory to describe the complex interplay between the reader and author. For readers who are not too familiar with Umberto Eco’s work around linguistics or semiotics, the book provides a good introduction to many different topics. It is accessible to read and doesn’t require excessive prior subject-specific knowledge to engage with. In addition to Umberto Eco, this book covers a wide range of theories from other contemporaneous poetic and semiotic theorists, including Tzvetan Todorov, Ferdinand de Saussure, Roland Barthes, Algirdas Julien Greimas and other structuralist thinkers. The publication will be helpful for the general reader or students to learn more about these theorists and their works, as well as specialists looking to deepen their specific knowledge about poetics.”
Dr John Tredinnick-Rowe
Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Plymouth
“In this closely argued and densely packed volume, Hoxha places Umberto Eco’s highly original thinking about semiotics in relation to the work of earlier semioticians and linguistic philosophers. He does so by a tri-partite discussion of Eco’s theories of how minds respond to verbal and non-verbal signs, his methodology, particularly his interdisciplinarity, and his ideas in regard to the vast, idiosyncratic interpretive matrices of culture and learning that readers, and viewers bring to verbal texts and physical works of art. These three approaches, the “Theory, Methodology, and Poetics” of his subtitle form a closely related and mutually informative context for considering Eco’s creative and theoretical writings. […] Hoxha’s achievement has been to trace the origins and development of Eco’s thinking and writing to the point where it has become a standard element of responding to and writing about engagement with the arts as a form of intense reader response.”
Carolyn P. Collette
Professor Emerita of English Language and Literature, Mount Holyoke College, USA
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