The misunderstood, the bad and the ugly

On Ugliness, Edited by Umberto Eco, Harvill Secker, €44.40

24th November, 2007

On Ugliness, Edited by Umberto Eco, Harvill Secker, €44.40

According to 75-year-old novelist and intellectual Umberto Eco, this is the first treatise of length that has been written about ugliness.

In his introduction, Eco writes: ‘‘Most of the time it [ugliness] was defined as the opposite of beauty [and] relegated to passing mentions in marginal works.” Eco’s tribute to this marginalised subject is a monumental exercise in research and editing.

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