Kant and the Platypus

Has anyone read Kant and the Platypus by Umberto Eco? I’ve read about 100 pages and I am so board with the thing. He appears to ramble on and on about the definitions of being referencing several other Philosophers on their point of views. From my past experience with Eco, he starts slow but gains momentum as the book moves along. Is this the case here? I hate to abandon a book I’ve started reading, but so far, Eco has not been able to interest me at all in this book. Perhaps it was better in the original Italian. So should I stick with it?

Jack

Got to bump this up.
Someone must have an opinion on this.

Okay, I’ll admit that I started composing a reply yesterday, but reconsidered. I have an opinion, but not a very well-informed one.

I haven’t read the book you mention. I did make it through The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum, but I found them tedious. They picked up a little momentum as they went along, but for me, not enough. I remember thinking that he could have said the same thing more clearly and even more beautifully, with a lot fewer words. I enjoy all that pretentious intellectual semiotics crap as much as the next guy, and I enjoy quoting philosophers and using words like postmodern and deconstructionist. I’ve even read Lyotard and Derrida. I’ve read some others who were harder to read than Eco on an intellectual level–Hegel and Heidegger seemed particularly impenetrable to me. But I still enjoyed them more than I enjoyed Eco. Maybe it is the translation, I don’t know. I sometimes think these writers are just thinking out loud, publishing what really amounts to a rough draft, and what we’re reading is not really ready to be read.

I hate to abandon books too, but there are a few that I’ve set aside, thinking maybe I’ll be more into it someday, or more willing to slog my way through the prose. My two cents worth is that if you aren’t enjoying it and don’t really have any need to read it, I’d shelve it.

Not much help, I know. I just didn’t want you to feel ignored.

I picked it up when it first came out and didn’t even get as far as you did before tedium set in. It’s not that his ideas are boring, but the presentation was far too dry and academic for my tastes (and I don’t necessarily mind dry and academic). Been meaning to pick it back up. But after your post, maybe I’ll rethink that decision.

MrO I think you nailed it here. I had similar thoughts although I confess, I was willing to blame poor translation. If anyone has read it in original Italian, I would be interested to know how it comes across.

Thank you and thanks also to woodstockbirdybird. I was starting to wonder if I was the only one on the SDMB who even tried reading this book. Well, it looks as if I’ll have to perform the Abandon Book ceremony this weekend. This is a very rare and sad event involving Mozart’s Requiem and a page marking ritual (the last page read before abandonment). I may need some wine for fortification.

Thanks again.
Jack

I haven’t read a book by Umberto Eco.