Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco (əmbĕr´tō ĕcō), 1932–, Italian novelist, essayist, and scholar. His first novel, the best-selling Il nome della rosa (1980; tr. The Name of the Rose, 1983), is a medieval mystery. A pastiche of detective fiction, medieval philosophy, and moral reflection, it encapsulates his semiotic theory, which describes how signs are produced and interpreted in the world. The novel presents clues for the reader to decode, but as the reader grapples with the novel's deeper meanings, the mystery becomes secondary. Eco's other novels include Il pendolo di Foucault (1988; tr. Foucault's Pendulum, 1989), L'isola del giorno prima (1994; tr. The Island of the Day Before, 1995), Baudolino (2000; tr. 2002), and Il cimitero di Praga (2010; tr. The Prague Cemetery, 2011). Among his important theoretical books are Trattato di semiotica generale (1975; tr. A Theory of Semiotics, 1976), The Role of the Reader (selected essays, tr. 1979), and I limiti dell'interpretazione (1990; tr. The Limits of Interpretation, 1990).

See studies by T. Coletti (1988) and M. T. Inge, ed. (1988).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Ideology and Art: Theories of Mass Culture from Walter Benjamin to Umberto Eco
Robin Ridless.
Peter Lang, 1984
Serendipities: Language & Lunacy
Umberto Eco; William Weaver.
Columbia University Press, 1998
Don't Slip on the Media's Banana Skins
Eco, Umberto.
New Statesman (1996), Vol. 127, No. 4416, December 18, 1998
When the Other Appears on the Scene
Eco, Umberto.
Cross Currents, Vol. 52, No. 3, Fall 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Pound, Joyce and Eco: Modernism and the "Ideal Genetic Reader." (Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Umberto Eco)(International Symposium on Genetic Criticism)
Rabate, Jean-Michel.
The Romanic Review, Vol. 86, No. 3, May 1995
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Debates in Continental Philosophy: Conversations with Contemporary Thinkers
Richard Kearney.
Fordham University Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "Umberto Eco: Chaosmos: The Return of the Middle Ages" begins on p. 223
Culture and Critique: An Introduction to the Critical Discourses of Cultural Studies
Jere Paul Surber.
Westview Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Eco: The Role of the Reader and the Limits of Semiotics" begins on p. 177
The Parameters of Postmodernism
Nicholas Zurbrugg.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "Umberto Eco and the Return to the Middle Ages" begins on p. 100
Fifty Key Contemporary Thinkers: From Structuralism to Postmodernity
John Lechte.
Routledge, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Umberto Eco" begins on p. 127
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