Umberto Eco is President of the Scuola Superiore di Studi Umanistici at the University of Bologna and author of many books, most recently 
How to Write a Thesis.

IN THE REVIEW

Murder in Chicago

Eros, Magic, and the Murder of Professor Culianu

by Ted Anton
On May 21, 1991, Ioan Culianu, a young (forty-one) and brilliant professor of the history of religion at the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, stepped into the stall of the restroom of his department. Someone in the adjoining stall climbed onto the toilet seat, aimed a Beretta .25 …

Ur-Fascism

I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.

A Case for Textual Harassment

These days, especially in the United States, implacable copy editors demand of authors not only stylistic revisions but even changes in plot, new endings, whatever commercial necessity dictates. But when we Italians recall the summary way the novelist-editor Elio Vittorini dealt with young writers some decades ago, can we honestly …

On ‘Krazy Kat’ and ‘Peanuts’

George Herriman’s Krazy Kat came into existence around 1910–1911 and ended in 1944 with the death of the author. The dramatis personae were three: a cat of unspecified sex, probably female; a mouse, Ignatz; a dog acting as policeman, Offissa Pupp. The drawing was remarkable, with certain surrealistic inventions, especially …