In other words, books unlike those written by Umberto Eco. Our author was born on January 5, in Allesandria, a town south of Milan in the Piedmont region of Italy. He entered the University of Turin with expectations of becoming a lawyer, but instead ended up focusing his studies on Thomas Aquinas and medieval culture and thought. Of course, this was all prelude to his transformation into a novelist, which in typical Eco fashion, he did with grand success.
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Plot Summary The year is William of Baskerville, a Franciscan friar, and Adso of Melk, a young novice travelling under his protection, arrive at a wealthy Benedictine abbey somewhere in Italy on an important secret mission.
The Holy Roman Emperor, Louis IV, has aligned himself with the Franciscans, and the abbey has been chosen as a neutral location for a theological disputation, with representatives coming from both sides. Upon the arrival of William and Adso at the abbey, they learn that this peaceful community has been disturbed by the mysterious death of a young illuminator, Adelmo of Otranto.
The abbot pleads with William to solve the mystery before the arrival of the two delegations. As the novel unfolds, several other monks die under mysterious circumstances, and William must play detective.
His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, and the empirical insights of Franciscan theologian and English philosopher Roger Bacon, whom he reveres. The prodigious collection of books is at the heart of this mystery, for the library is forbidden to all but three men: The novel is divided into seven sections, each corresponding to the seven days that William and Adso stay at the abbey.
Each section is divided into periods corresponding to the strict liturgical hours in which Benedictine monks are awake, during which they are required to pray, study, eat, and work. On the first day, the novel introduces the principal characters, the layout of the abbey, and the central conflicts within the Catholic Church, and between the Church and the imperial powers of the secular world.
Under the surface of this orderly community are countless secrets and rivalries. They also encounter the elderly, blind Jorge of Burgos, the second oldest monk in the abbey, whose ideas about the dangers of reading cast an immense shadow over the library.
At their very first meeting, Jorge and William spar about the dangers of representation, and especially the dangers of laughter. It is the first of several such debates, and this moral conflict is threaded throughout the novel.
To solve the crime, William and Adso must make their way through the mysterious labyrinth that guards the library. They are unable to penetrate its darkest secrets, and vow to return.
They manage to decipher the signs and symbols by which the books are organized, and realize there is a secret room, known only to a few. This secret room is called the finis Africae, but that is all they know.
Benno of Uppsala, a monk who is a student of rhetoric, reveals that Malachi and Berengar of Arundel, the assistant librarian, are lovers, but Berengar had been trying to seduce Adelmo, who was young and handsome.
By the third day, Berengar is missing, and the sense of doom intensifies. Everybody is a suspect and no one is safe. On the third day, Adso commits a carnal sin, succumbing to the sexual advances of a young peasant girl from the local village.
He confesses and is absolved by William, for his master is wise and compassionate. With the help of Severinus of Sankt Wendel, the wise herbalist, William discovers evidence that Venantius was poisoned. Other clues seem to be pointing William towards the library, and he begins his quest in the scriptorium, in order to see what the dead scholar was reading.
The mystery deepens on the fourth day, when the missing Berengar is found drowned in a bath tub. William is wise, Gui is brutal.
As the novel progresses, readers wonder who will gain the upper hand. As a representative of the Inquisition, Bernard is authorized to take over the investigation from William.
Gui uses fear, William employs reason. The fourth section closes with the arrest of the peasant girl whom Adso loves; although she is innocent, she will be burned as a witch.
Remigio ultimately cracks, too, and admits his past misdeeds. When threatened with torture, he confesses to the recent murders as well, but it is clear Bernard has the wrong man. It is unclear whether Bernard really cares who the real guilty party is; but as long as he has a prisoner, he is satisfied.
Corruption appears to be rampant in this world, and the fifth day draws to a close with the murder of Severinus. The visitors and the residents of the abbey are then subjected to a torturous sermon by Jorge, who warns that the Antichrist is coming and that they are all doomed sinners.
The sixth day opens on an even more ominous note: Malachi, the librarian, is missing. He reappears at morning prayers, where he suddenly slumps to the floor and dies. Instead of appointing a new librarian, the abbot clamps down.
With a sense of increasing doom, William intensifies his investigation. This news gives William a new angle from which to pursue his investigation.Feb 20, · Umberto Eco, an Italian scholar in the arcane field of semiotics who became the author of best-selling novels, notably the blockbuster medieval mystery “The Name of the Rose,” died on Friday.
Umberto Eco OMRI (/ ˈ ɛ k oʊ /; Italian: [umˈbɛrto ˈɛːko]; 5 January – 19 February ) was an Italian novelist, literary critic, philosopher, semiotician, and university professor. He is best known internationally for his novel Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose), a historical mystery combining semiotics in fiction with biblical analysis, medieval studies, and literary theory.
Welcome to the Umberto Eco tribute website, Eco, Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, Milan, Bologna, Postmodern, Linguistics, Semiotics, Philology, Deconstruction. That’s quite a list, James.
Do you tend to take notes when you read in a bookshop, or just let it all filter through? One of my favourite things about testing is the weird books you can read in the name of research. The Name of the Rose has , ratings and 6, reviews. Walter said: Eco's writing is so infectious, lively, and likeable that I thought it appropria.
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