Umberto Eco, international bestselling novelist and leading
literary theorist, here brings together these two roles in a
provocative discussion of the vexed question of literary
interpretation. The limits of interpretation - what a text can
actually be said to mean - are of double interest to a semiotician
whose own novels' intriguing complexity has provoked his readers
into intense speculation as to their meaning. Eco's illuminating
and frequently hilarious discussion ranges from Dante to The Name
of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum to Chomsky and Derrida, and bears
all the hallmarks of his inimitable personal style. Three of the
world's leading figures in philosophy, literary theory and
criticism take up the challenge of entering into debate with Eco on
the question of interpretation. Richard Rorty, Jonathan Culler and
Christine Brooke-Rose each offer a distinctive perspective on this
contentious topic, contributing to a unique exchange of ideas
between some of the foremost and most exciting theorists in the
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