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Which clippings match 'Umberto Eco' keyword pg.2 of 2
08 OCTOBER 2003

Eco: The Open Work

"[Umberto] Eco, quoting Henri Pousseur, defines the 'open' work as one that 'produces in the interpreter acts of conscious freedom, putting him at the centre of a net of inexhaustible relations among which he inserts his own form' (4). Eco's study, which examines Joyce, Alexander Calder, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pousseur, and other contemporary and near–contemporary artists, opposes this concept to the traditional closed work, which allows the reader or viewer far less choice in interpretation. The categories are ideal––no work can be completely open or closed––but they function well in making distinctions between different kinds of art. What is more important, adopting the proper attitude toward an open work has political and social ramifications: the open work denies conventional views of the world, replacing them with a sense of its discontinuity, disorder, and dissonance. Eco considers the alienation attendant on this realisation as beneficial, since from this feeling of crisis, one may derive a new way of seeing, feeling, and understanding a social order in which traditional relationships have been shattered."
(Deborah Parker)


Alexander Calder • conscious freedom • James JoyceKarlheinz Stockhausenopenopen work • Parker • Pousseur • Umberto Eco

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