Umberto Eco: Travels in Hyperreality

Umberto Eco: Travels in Hyperreality

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Travels In Hyperreality is an essay written by the Italian theorist of simulation, Umberto Eco. It is a paper that describes his trip to America where he obtained firsthand experiences of imitations and replicas that were displayed in attractions such as museums and theme parks. Eco talks about Disneyland which he believes are created to be “absolutely realistic”. He also describes the contemporary culture as one that is full of re-creations and themed environments. He believes that this culture is full of realistic fabrications, aimed at creating something that is better than real. Underneath all this is the attempt to increase sales and gain profits. Eco explains the notion of the "the Absolute Fake,” where imitations aren’t just a reproduction of reality, but an attempt at improving on it. He says that in comparison to these hyperrealistic models, reality can be disappointing.  Eco describes that hyperreality results in "the completely real” becoming “identified with the completely fake.”