Last week end,
How do we perceive beauty?
Is it a matter of proportions, does it evolve with time ?
Does it change according to different cultures ?
What is our conception of ugliness?
Such were the topics, tackled by Eco, who, far from showing his extended knowledge, managed to catch the attention of 900 persons, last Friday night.
Eco concluded that beauty as such can be sometimes boring as ugliness may at times appears fascinating because ugliness may exist in so many ways. Mmm…I don’t know about that.
During his talk, slides of medieval paintings and African masks were shown to explain the distinct aspects of aesthetics.
He made us laugh as he was showing a kitsch painting by Adolf Hitler, and said ironically: "see, he was such a bad painter, that he turned to politics…"
When we left from home, I was in such a hurry that I forgot to take my camera. alas...as I would have loved to take a shot of him.
Luckily, after the talk we (Monchéri and I and our friends Ellie and Sascha) went to have a drink at the
Seating in one those armchairs…
Yes, Mr Umberto Eco
So, I made my best smile ever and bravely asked him if he would sign me an autograph. He very kindly accepted.
Then I told him how much I loved his pastiche story of Lolita by Nabokov, called Nonita (the story of an adolescent attracted to elderly ladies).
He burst out laughing and said :"oh really, I'm so glad" but then someone told him his taxi has arrived, so he had to go. He squeezed my hand in a very friendly Italian way and off he went.
Ciao, Mr Eco !