Reading the Misreadings

Good Essays
Reading The Misreadings
Cheyenne Ninnette W.
1804 1007 0095

The title for the English version of Umberto Eco's Diario Minimo is undoubtely a brilliant pick, especially because the word so much describe the kind of literature one would find in the book. Originally collected from Eco's monthly column in an Italian magazine Il Verri, these pieces of writings contain the same core of humorous and somewhat cynical swing of literary theory, anthropology, and cultural biases which I find very amusing, entertaining, and yet a little bit disturbing to read since they question many things that have ever been taken for granted.

The Discovery of America, for example, is a fun exagerrated version of how Christophorus Columbus found America; in which the whole process of the finding of the new land was broadcasted all around the world. What makes it rather quirky is how Eco mixes the characters from all those different eras- say, for example, how Leonardo Da Vinci was interviewed in the play as a commentator for the TV network, spilling out all these non-sense arguments about the technical matters of the event; which is absolutely out of the question since the real Da Vinci live centuries before the invention of the television.

Though it seems like a real documentary of the event, the dialogues shared between the characters prove that the whole play is nothing but a mockery to the arrogancy of the whites, and also to the genious brain they always boast to have. This can be seen from the types of commentators picked by Eco to represent the communities in the real world, which, in my opinion, is again a mockery to the white scientists who think that they know everything.

Beside Da Vinci, Eco also slips a character from a different era to complete the non-sensical play: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This character, in spite of his legendary image in the history of America, is also used in the play as a character whose main purpose, I think, is to underline the idiotic

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