, 1932-, Italian novelist, essayist, and scholar. His first novel, The Name of the Rose
(tr. 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 Foucault's Pendulum
(tr. 1989), The Island of the Day Before
(tr. 1995), Baudolino
(tr. 2002), and The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
(tr. 2005). Among his important theoretical books are A Theory of Semiotics
(1976), The Role of the Reader
(1979), and The Limits of Interpretation
See studies by T. Coletti (1988) and M. T. Inge, ed. (1988).
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