Ian Marshall is a dear friend of mine who I've known since before high school. He now teaches
English Language and Media Studies to A-Level students in North Yorkshire, England.
I hope you all had a good Xmas and New Year. We had a very pleasant holiday.
I donít know if Richard told you but we all went to Scotland for Hogmanay. The scenery,
weather and company were all very agreeable. One of the things I enjoyed most was the
opportunity to catch up on some reading. Yes, I finally got round to reading your book.
I must say that I found it very enjoyable. As an educator I feel that you have introduced
Eco, Semiotics and the notion of Structuralism in a very clear and accessible way.
At first I thought that the idea of introducing the text as narrator was a little
corny but as I progressed I came to see that it was a very useful device,
particularly to those who have been brought up to see the text as an extension of
the author. Far too many English teachers approach texts with biographical data
about the author. This approach results in students seeing the thoughts of any
narrator as those of the author. The shock value of alienating the text from its
author will make many a reader question their preconceptions (I hope). One of the main
strengths of your text is the use of examples to illustrate the basic concepts
of semiotics. These examples are illuminating and relevant. Iím sure that the average
18 year old will be able to relate to and interpret your examples with ease. Overall,
a very accessible and informative book, I would definitely recommend it to anyone
looking for an insight into Ecoís texts. Perhaps your next project could be to
produce an introduction to semiotics - a clear accessible guide is yet to be
written as far as I can see.
This page last updated December 24 2010.