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Umberto Eco Dead at 84



RoseAuthor and philosopher, Umberto Eco died today in Italy. He was 84 years old.

Eco, who held the position of Professor Emeritus at Bologna University at the time of his death, was the author of seven novels. The first of those novels, The Name of the Rose, was an international bestseller that quickly established Eco's pedigree as an author. Published in 1980, The Name of the Rose is a murder mystery set in the 14th Century--Italian monks are being killed, and Brother William of Baskerville (played by Sean Connery in the 1984 movie version) must discover the reason.

As a semiotician--one who interprets cultures through their signs and symbols--Eco incorporated semiotics into many of his stories, including his second novel Foucault's Pendulum. When asked how he balanced the demanding careers of academics and writing, he is quoted as saying, "I am a philosopher; I write novels only on the weekends."

Umberto Eco was born in 1932 in the Piedmont region of Italy. He sold millions of novels in more than 30 countries. His last novel Numero Uno was published in the United States in November 2015.

He was also very quotable - see some of his best in this Goodreads list of Umberto Eco quotes.

 

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