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On Ugliness af Umberto Eco
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On Ugliness (original 2007; udgave 2011)

af Umberto Eco (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
9481316,314 (3.97)4
In a companion volume to his "History of Beauty," the renowned philosopher and cultural critic analyzes our attraction to the gruesome, horrific, and repellant in visual culture and the arts, drawing on abundant examples of painting and sculpture, ranging from antiquity to the works of Bosch, Goya, and others.… (mere)
Medlem:halseyhazzard
Titel:On Ugliness
Forfattere:Umberto Eco (Forfatter)
Info:Rizzoli (2011), Edition: Illustrated, 456 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

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On Ugliness af Umberto Eco (2007)

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Tras la Historia de la belleza, he aquí la Historia de la fealdad. En apariencia, belleza y fealdad son conceptos que se implican mutuamente, y por lo general se considera que la fealdad es la antítesis de la belleza, hasta el punto de que bastaría definir la primera para saber qué es la segunda.

No obstante, las distintas manifestaciones de la fealdad a través de los siglos son más ricas e imprevisibles de lo que comúnmente se cree. Tanto los fragmentos antológicos como las extraordinarias ilustraciones de este libro nos llevan, pues, a recorrer un itinerario sorprendente hecho de pesadillas, terrores y amores de casi tres mil años, donde los sentimientos de repulsa y de conmovedora compasión se dan la mano, y el rechazo de la deformidad va acompañado de éxtasis decadentes ante las más seductoras violaciones de todos los cánones clásicos.

Entre demonios, locos, enemigos terribles y presencias perturbadoras, entre abismos repulsivos y deformidades que rozan lo sublime, navegando entre freaks y fantasmas, se descubre una vena iconográfica extraordinariamente amplia y a menudo insospechada. Así que,tras haber contemplado a lo largo de estas páginas la fealdad natural, la fealdad espiritual, la asimetría, la falta de armonía y la deformidad, en un sucederse de lo mezquino, débil, vil, banal, casual, arbitrario, tosco, repugnante, desmañado, horrendo, insulso, vomitivo, criminal, espectral, hechicero, satánico, repelente, asqueroso, desagradable, grotesco, abominable, odioso, indecente, inmundo, sucio, obsceno, espantoso, abyecto, monstruoso, horripilante, vicioso, terrible, terrorífico, tremendo, repelente, repulsivo, desagradable, nauseabundo, fétido, innoble, desgraciado, lamentable e indecente, el primer editor extranjero que vio esta obra exclamó: «¡Qué hermosa es la fealdad!»
  MaEugenia | Aug 5, 2020 |


Umberto Eco begins On Ugliness with the observation that there is an entire history of beauty but such a history did not happen with ugliness. Why is this? Perhaps, the author reasons, since ugliness was frequently defined throughout the ages as the opposite of beauty.

Well, if there ever was a book taking a giant step to rectify a neglect of ugliness, this is the book – 450 pages and nearly 1000 full-color illustrations as well as dozens of primary source excerpts chock-full of the ugly. And here’s a sampling of the synonyms Eco lists for the word: repellent, horrible, disgusting, grotesque, abominable, repulsive, odious, indecent, foul, obscene, repugnant, monstrous, horrifying, nightmarish, revolting, sickening, deformed, disfigured.



Why are we so fascinated and drawn to the ugly and monstrous? Turns out, such wondering has a long history. For example, Umberto Eco quotes Bernard of Clarevaux bemoaning how Christians are fascinated with monsters and monstrosities, “What place is there in the cloisters for that ridiculous monstrosity, that strange kind of deformed shape or shaped deformity? What are foul apes doing there? Or ferocious lions? Or monstrous centaurs? Or half-men? Or dappled tigers? You can see many bodies beneath a single head and vice versa many heads atop a single body. On the one side you can see a quadruped with a serpent’s tail, and on the other a fish with a quadruped’s head. Here, a beast that looks like a horse with the hindquarters of a goat, there a horned animal with the hindquarters of horse. In short there is everywhere such a great and strange variety of heterogeneous forms that there is more pleasure to be had in reading the marbles than the codices and in spending the whole day admiring one by one these images rather than meditating on the law of God.”

Again, why is this? The answer is as complex as human nature is complex. Taking one approach, we can look at a quote Eco includes from a novel by J.-K. Huysmans, “These nightmares attached him repeatedly. He was afraid to fall asleep. For hours he remained stretched on his bed, now a prey to feverish and agitated wakefulness, now in the grip of oppressive dreams in which he tumbled down flights of stairs and felt himself sinking, powerless, into abysmal depths.”



In a word, the monsters portrayed in paint, sculpture, photography, film and literature mirror the content of our dreamscapes and nightmare visions. On some level we want to come to grips with our nocturnal experience and the monstrous in art is a prime way to do so.

The author includes Andy Warhol’s Orange Car Crash, a print using the photograph of an overturned car with three people pinned underneath. This is a nightmare we in the modern world face as a living possibility nearly every day. Again, the ugly is very much part of our day to day experience and a living nightmare is forever looming.
( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
Umberto Eco begins ‘On Ugliness’ with the observation that there is an entire history of beauty but such a history did not happen with ugliness. Why is this? Perhaps, the author reasons, since ugliness was frequently defined throughout the ages as the opposite of beauty.

Well, if there ever was a book taking a giant step to rectify a neglect of ugliness, this is the book – 450 pages and nearly 1000 full-color illustrations as well as dozens of primary source excerpts chock-full of the ugly. And here’s a sampling of the synonyms Eco lists for the word: repellent, horrible, disgusting, grotesque, abominable, repulsive, odious, indecent, foul, obscene, repugnant, monstrous, horrifying, nightmarish, revolting, sickening, deformed, disfigured.

If anybody wonders why we are so fascinated and drawn to the ugly and monstrous, such wondering has a long history. For example, Umberto Eco quotes Bernard of Clarevaux bemoaning how Christians are fascinated with monsters and monstrosities, “What place is there in the cloisters for that ridiculous monstrosity, that strange kind of deformed shape or shaped deformity? What are foul apes doing there? Or ferocious lions? Or monstrous centaurs? Or half-men? Or dappled tigers? You can see many bodies beneath a single head and vice versa many heads atop a single body. On the one side you can see a quadruped with a serpent’s tail, and on the other a fish with a quadruped’s head. Here, a beast that looks like a horse with the hindquarters of a goat, there a horned animal with the hindquarters of horse. In short there is everywhere such a great and strange variety of heterogeneous forms that there is more pleasure to be had in reading the marbles than the codices and in spending the whole day admiring one by one these images rather than meditating on the law of God.”

Again, why is this? The answer is as complex as human nature is complex. Taking one approach, we can look at a quote Eco includes from a novel by J.-K. Huysmans, “These nightmares attached him repeatedly. He was afraid to fall asleep. For hours he remained stretched on his bed, now a prey to feverish and agitated wakefulness, now in the grip of oppressive dreams in which he tumbled down flights of stairs and felt himself sinking, powerless, into abysmal depths.”

In a word, the monsters portrayed in paint, sculpture, photography, film and literature mirror the content of our dreamscape visions. On some level we want to come to grips with our nocturnal experience and the monstrous in art is a prime way to do so.

The author includes Andy Warhol’s ‘Orange Car Crash’ a print using the photograph of an overturned car with three people pinned underneath. This is a nightmare we in the modern world face as a living possibility nearly every day. Again, the ugly is very much part of our day to day experience and a living nightmare is forever looming.

( )
  GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
Maybe the grotesque, all that is bizzare, the multi faces of evil are indeed more appealing than beauty for one reason it's easier to understand. This book was way much better than Eco's studies of beauty, like I said before, probably because ugliness it's just something that stands out and therefore easier to define, but not only that, the supportive texts the author used to base his thoughts were more precise and let's just say more interresting. The funny part is that, it is known that in order to place something "ugly" you'd only have to identify the "beautiful", but as it happens the author's book "History of Beauty" was not so good and after reading this you'll actually find that it's easier to identify the "beauty" after you get the "ugly". ( )
  Glaucialm | Feb 18, 2016 |
(Come inizia:) " In ogni secolo, filosofi e artisti hanno fornito definizioni del bello; grazie alle loro testimonianze è così possibile ricostruire una storia delle idee estetiche attraverso i tempi. Diversamente è accaduto col brutto. Il più delle volte si è definito il brutto in opposizione al bello ma a esso non sono state quasi mai dedicate trattazioni estese..."
  circa2000 | Mar 13, 2014 |
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Angreppsvinkeln är hyfsat bred – konst, litteratur, religion och filosofi täcks in till fullo – ändå kunde det ha lönat sig med utökade ansatser åt även sociologiska, psykologiska eller mediala perspektiv.
 
En kvalitet hos ”Om fulhet” är att den är så befriande ohistorisk. I en tid då epoktänkande och kronologier kommit att uppfattas som själva inbegreppet av kunskap, ibland också som dess slutpunkt, är Eco associativ och fri. Han kryssar mellan tre årtusendens konst, filosofi, teologi, skönlitteratur, reklam, fotografi och film som mellan möbler i sitt eget vardagsrum. Hans hemhörighet i olika tider är lika självklar som häpnadsväckande.
 
Allvetande i den europeiska traditionen, den västliga, icke-ortodoxa traditionen. Det är Ecos signum, hans beläsenhet är med dessa gränser närmast oändlig.
 
Ecos sammanställning är framför allt en bläddervänlig och uppslagsrik presentbok i lyxförpackning.
 
Umberto Ecos historia om fulheten är icke desto mindre en indirekt revolt mot alla kulturkonservativa svanesånger som beklagar skönhetens försvinnande ur samtidskonsten.
 

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In ogni secolo, filosofi e artisti hanno fornito definizioni del bello; grazie alle loro testimonianze è così possibile ricostruire una storia delle idee estetiche attraverso i tempi. Diversamente è accaduto col brutto. Il più delle volte si è definito il brutto in opposizione al bello ma a esso non sono state quasi mai dedicate trattazioni distese, bensì accenni parentetici e marginali.
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In a companion volume to his "History of Beauty," the renowned philosopher and cultural critic analyzes our attraction to the gruesome, horrific, and repellant in visual culture and the arts, drawing on abundant examples of painting and sculpture, ranging from antiquity to the works of Bosch, Goya, and others.

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