Il fascismo eterno

Umberto Eco

Il fascismo eterno



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Umberto Eco wrote Eternal Fascism as a speech that he gave to students at Columbia University on the 25th of April 1995, the 50th anniversary of the Italian liberation, and just a few days after the Oklahoma City bombing by a group of young American neo-Nazis. Eco’s speech was simple and direct, brimming with fascinating memories from his childhood and inspirational quotes. His aim was to emphasise the value of freedom and the importance of defending it at all costs. Eco also analysed Ur-Fascism, or eternal fascism, highlighting its defining characteristics so that we can recognise the warning signs and prevent it from gaining ground before it is too late.

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Analysis and key concepts


Eco’s essay, Eternal Fascism, was originally written as a speech to students at Columbia University


Umberto Eco was born in 1932, and so during the war he was still a child


Fascism and Nazism are completely different


The distinguishing characteristics of fascism, which Eco calls Ur-Fascism


There is always the risk that fascism will reappear, albeit with significant differences




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Learn more about Umberto Eco’s experiences of growing up during the war.
  • Gain deeper understanding about eternal fascism.
  • Discover why eternal fascism is still a pressing issue, and why it is so important to fight it.

Umberto Eco was a prominent writer in modern literary culture. He was born in Alessandria, northern Italy, in 1932 and died in 2016, after a long and illustrious career. He was a philosopher, medievalist, and mass media expert, and he won the Strega Prize in 1981 for his first fictional novel, The Name of the Rose (1980). He went on to publish many other successful books, such as Foucault’s Pendulum (1983), The Island of the Day Before (1995), Baudolino (2001), and Numero Zero (2015). Eco was also a respected essayist, and published several illustrated books, including On Beauty (2004), On Ugliness (2007), and The Book of Legendary Lands (2013).

Publishing house:

La nave di Teseo