1985 saw the publication of the short and dense Dreaming of the Middle Ages by Umberto Eco. This paper, later reprinted in various editions and in many languages, has become the world’s most famous essay on “medievalism.” While its analysis of possible approaches to the idea of the Middle Ages was based in Italian culture, its lessons are generalizable to other cultures. Eco proposed a subdivision by themes: The Middle Ages as a pretext; The M.A. as the site of an ironical revisitation; The M. A. as a barbaric age; The M. A. of Romanticism; The M. A. of the philosophia perennis or of neo-Thomism; The M. A. of national identities; The M. A. of Decadentism; The M. A. of philological reconstruction; The M. A. of so-called Tradition; The M. A. of the expectation of the Millennium. Eco’s cogent delineation of conceptual categories both took stock of the situation and greatly influenced subsequent studies. In the years since Umberto Eco wrote society has changed radically, especially with regard to forms of communication, and interpretations and representations of the Middle Ages have continuously experimented with new modes of expression. Today, in light of the numerous studies on medievalism, we are well-positioned to evaluate the stability of the “ten ways” identified by Eco, as well as to integrate his list with five additional ones: 11. The authorial Middle Ages (the M. A. of the great authors, each of whom must be read and understood individually); 12. The Middle Ages in the plural (in a liquid society like ours, where everyone can write and publish online, the M. A. can have as many faces as there are websites); 13. The Middle Ages of political banality (that of the contemporary use of the M. A. to “do” politics); 14. The Middle Ages of the market (which is currently dominant); 15. The Middle Ages of the medievalist labyrinth (that of internal reflection in the disciplines of medieval studies and in medievalism, which is currently very lively).

Cinque altri modi di sognare il medioevo. Addenda a un testo celebre

Tommaso di Carpegna Falconieri
2020-01-01

Abstract

1985 saw the publication of the short and dense Dreaming of the Middle Ages by Umberto Eco. This paper, later reprinted in various editions and in many languages, has become the world’s most famous essay on “medievalism.” While its analysis of possible approaches to the idea of the Middle Ages was based in Italian culture, its lessons are generalizable to other cultures. Eco proposed a subdivision by themes: The Middle Ages as a pretext; The M.A. as the site of an ironical revisitation; The M. A. as a barbaric age; The M. A. of Romanticism; The M. A. of the philosophia perennis or of neo-Thomism; The M. A. of national identities; The M. A. of Decadentism; The M. A. of philological reconstruction; The M. A. of so-called Tradition; The M. A. of the expectation of the Millennium. Eco’s cogent delineation of conceptual categories both took stock of the situation and greatly influenced subsequent studies. In the years since Umberto Eco wrote society has changed radically, especially with regard to forms of communication, and interpretations and representations of the Middle Ages have continuously experimented with new modes of expression. Today, in light of the numerous studies on medievalism, we are well-positioned to evaluate the stability of the “ten ways” identified by Eco, as well as to integrate his list with five additional ones: 11. The authorial Middle Ages (the M. A. of the great authors, each of whom must be read and understood individually); 12. The Middle Ages in the plural (in a liquid society like ours, where everyone can write and publish online, the M. A. can have as many faces as there are websites); 13. The Middle Ages of political banality (that of the contemporary use of the M. A. to “do” politics); 14. The Middle Ages of the market (which is currently dominant); 15. The Middle Ages of the medievalist labyrinth (that of internal reflection in the disciplines of medieval studies and in medievalism, which is currently very lively).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2677696
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