"This is the reason for this journey into hyperreality, in search of instances where the American imagination demands the real thing and to attain it, must fabricate the absolute fake; where the boundaries between game and illusion are blurred, the art museum is contaminated by the freak show, and falsehood is enjoyed in a situation of "fullness", of horror vacui".
How can one not bloody love this guy? Years ago, I read this essay by the abbey at Melk [I mean, if you are at Melk, you have to read Eco right? And no, I did not have The Name of the Rose with me then. It wasn't planned alright? I just sort of lost my way and found myself at Melk. Okay okay, here's the truth - my fractured femur which was supposed to have healed by then didn't hold up and I had to take the boat into Melk and wait around while my "friends" biked around the Austrian countryside. BM, are you happy now?] and dismissed Eco as your quintessential, snooty, elitist European intellectual with a disdain for all things American. Rereading it now, after spending quite a few years in the land of the Free, I kick myself for not seeing what's so obvious. Eco might be the the quintessential snooty, European intellectual but how could one ever dismiss him?