numero-zero-umberto-ecoNumero Zero by Umberto Eco | Northwest Review
As an academic, Eco had been publishing scholarly work since the late ’50s, and it was his studies in medieval aesthetics and semiotics that led him to write The Name of the Rose. In fact, it has informed all of his fictions, as they all tend to resemble, in some way, a scholar’s mystery. The prologue of The Name of the Rose, titled “Naturally, a Manuscript,” begins with the discovery of a journal of which the rest of the novel consists, thereby elevating the first-person narration to documentary verisimilitude. In The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, the protagonist is a bookseller who loses all his memories with the exception of every book he’s ever read—he must reconstruct his identity through literature, which is about as good a metaphor for the life of a scholar as you’re going to get. (More.)

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