Umberto Eco

  • Born: (Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy)
  • Died: (Milan, Lombardy, Italy) age 84

Umberto Eco OMRI was an Italian novelist, literary critic, philosopher, semiotician, and university professor.

World-renowned essayist and intellectual, he has written numerous essays on semiotics, medieval aesthetics, linguistics and philosophy, as well as successful novels. In 1971 he was among the inspirers of the first course of DAMS at the University of Bologna. Still in the same university, in the 1980s he promoted the activation of the degree course in Communication Sciences, already active in other locations. In 1988 he founded the Communication Department of the University of San Marino. Since 2008 he was professor emeritus and president of the Higher School of Humanities of the University of Bologna. From 12 November 2010 Umberto Eco was a member of the Accademia dei Lincei, for the class of Moral, Historical and Philosophical Sciences. His most famous novels include The Name of the Rose, translated into more than 40 languages, which has become an international bestseller having sold over 50 million copies worldwide; from this work a film and a television series were drawn.

He is widely known for his 1980 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. He later wrote other novels, including Il pendolo di Foucault (Foucault's Pendulum) and L'isola del giorno prima (The Island of the Day Before). His novel Il cimitero di Praga (The Prague Cemetery), released in 2010, topped the bestseller charts in Italy.


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