De la littérature by Umberto Eco

By Umberto Eco

Nerval, Joyce, Borges, Wilde, Leopardi, Flaubert, Proust, Manzoni et les autres... Quand Eco fait sa littérature, quand il nous livre ses émois d'adolescent, ses curiosités de sémioticien, ses angoisses d'écrivain face à l'influence des maîtres, ses admirations d'aficionado - bref, son landscape littéraire -, on jubile devant tant d'intelligence du texte et d'amour des mots. Et quand, au dernier chapitre, il nous raconte ses premières armes de poète et romancier en herbe, révèle ses superstitions d'auteur, ses attentes ou ses craintes, on a le sentiment de pénétrer dans le jardin mystery qu'il avait souvent évoqué sans jamais vraiment nous le dévoiler.

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8. a in MSL 1, 36/7, [56–57]; 82, [59] in which the Akkadian is restored as ummiānu and translated Kapitalist. The context is words relating to loans. 9. Speiser, “Obliging Servant,” n. 23, already states, “Note also such links with Akkadian proverbs as the sequence epru and usâtu in K. 33851 obv. ii 13, 16 (Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology [1916] 133)”. He refers to the Babylonian recension, but the allusion discussed here involves the main, Assyrian recension. 10. This is not the place to discuss the dates of either of the compositions.

See inter alia BWL, 1; Giorgio Buccellati, “Wisdom and Not: The Case of Mesopotamia,” JAOS 101 (1981): 35– 47. Suffice it to say that the composition studied here combines elements resembling in form and content “didactic wisdom literature” as exemplified in the biblical Book of Proverbs, and “reflective wisdom literature” as found especially in Ecclesiastes. Moreover, the counsels are presented in a family situation as are the admonitions in Proverbs. In addition, the values promoted by this composition are universal, for although they may reflect values of a certain social rank they are not bound by any particular ethnic background or religious beliefs.

15 The common form of the colophon contains four elements: it qualifies the text as “secret” (pirištu or nisIirtu); confines its transmission to the milieu of the “experts,” or “initiates” (mūdû); prohibits its divulgation to the “nonexpert” (la mūdû); and says that the tablet is the “sacred property” or “taboo” (ikkibu) of the gods. One late example (Hellenistic era) illustrates all four elements: Mathematical table, divine wisdom, secret of the [great go]ds, secret of the scholars. One expert may show it to [another expert]; the non-expert is not allowed to [see it.

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