The Search for the Perfect Language

3.92 avg rating
( 646 ratings by Goodreads )
)  
9780006863786: The Search for the Perfect Language
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

The Search for the Perfect Language

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

"This is as much a history of the study of language and its origins as it is a" tour de force" pursuit using scholarly detection and cultural interpretation, thus providing a series of original perspectives on two thousand years of European history." " The Medieval Review"

From the Back Cover:

The idea that there once existed a language which perfectly and unambiguously expressed the essence of all possible things and concepts has occupied the minds of philosophers, theologians, mystics and others for at least two millennia. This is an investigation into the history of that idea and of its profound influence on European thought, culture and history.

From the early Dark Ages to the Renaissance it was widely believed that the language spoken in the Garden of Eden was just such a language, and that all current languages were its decadent descendants from the catastrophe of the Fall and at Babel. The recovery of that language would, for theologians, express the nature of divinity, for cabbalists allow access to hidden knowledge and power, and for philosophers reveal the nature of truth. Versions of these ideas remained current in the Enlightenment, and have recently received fresh impetus in attempts to create a natural language for artificial intelligence.

The story that Umberto Eco tells ranges widely from the writings of Augustine, Dante, Descartes and Rousseau, arcane treatises on cabbalism and magic, to the history of the study of language and its origins. He demonstrates the initimate relation between language and identity and describes, for example, how and why the Irish, English, Germans and Swedes – one of whom presented God talking in Swedish to Adam, who replied in Danish, while the serpent tempted Eve in French – have variously claimed their language as closest to the original. He also shows how the late eighteenth–century discovery of a proto–language (Indo–European) for the Aryan peoples was perverted to support notions of racial superiority.


To this subtle exposition of a history of extraordinary complexity, Umberto Eco links the associated history of the manner in which the sounds of language and concepts have been written and symbolized. Lucidly and wittily written, the book is, in sum, a tour de force of scholarly detection and cultural interpretation, providing a series of original perspectives on two thousand years of European History.

The paperback edition of this book is not available through Blackwell outside of North America.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780631205104: The Search for the Perfect Language (The Making of Europe)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0631205101 ISBN 13:  9780631205104
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, 1997
Softcover

9780631174653: The Search for the Perfect Language (Making of Europe)

John W..., 1995
Hardcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Umberto Eco
Published by HarperCollins Publishers (1997)
ISBN 10: 0006863787 ISBN 13: 9780006863786
New Quantity Available: 15
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 1997. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # FC-9780006863786

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
12.77
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Umberto Eco
Published by HarperCollins Publishers 2010-10-04, London (2010)
ISBN 10: 0006863787 ISBN 13: 9780006863786
New paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers 2010-10-04, London, 2010. paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 9780006863786

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
12.08
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 4.99
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Umberto Eco
Published by HarperCollins Publishers (1997)
ISBN 10: 0006863787 ISBN 13: 9780006863786
New Quantity Available: 15
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 1997. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # FC-9780006863786

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
10.90
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 15
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Eco, Umberto
Published by Fontana Press (1997)
ISBN 10: 0006863787 ISBN 13: 9780006863786
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)

Book Description Fontana Press, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0006863787

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
45.79
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 1.59
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Eco, Umberto
Published by Harpercollins Publishers (1997)
ISBN 10: 0006863787 ISBN 13: 9780006863786
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)

Book Description Harpercollins Publishers, 1997. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. new ed edition. 400 pages. In Stock. Seller Inventory # __0006863787

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
13.77
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 35
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Eco, Umberto
ISBN 10: 0006863787 ISBN 13: 9780006863786
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BennettBooksLtd
(San Diego, CA, U.S.A.)

Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # S-0006863787

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
70.22
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds