By Orlando Radice
February 25, 2011
Most of the attention was appropriately heaped on Ian McEwan at the Jerusalem Book Fair this week – but Umberto Eco grabbed a headline or two with his eloquent trashing of academic and cultural boycotts.
He told an AP reporter: "I consider it absolutely crazy" and "fundamentally racist to identify a scholar, a private citizen, with the politics of his government."
With Berlusconi his country’s inglorious leader, Eco should know a thing or two about this.
Umberto Eco clearly has a special interest in the Jews. His latest novel, The Cemetery of Prague, probes deep into the minds of those who concoct antisemitic conspiracy theories. It’s yet to be published in the UK.