<history of philosophy, biography> Italian novelist, critic, and philosopher (1932- ); author of Opera aperta (The Open Work) (1962), Trattato di semiotica generale (A Theory of Semiotics) (1976), and Semiotica e filosofia del linguaggio (Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language) (1984). A serious scholar of semiotics, Eco examines the use of signs, both in literary texts and - as in "Travels in Hyperreality" (1991)- in popular culture. His novels, Il Nome della Rosa (The Name of the Rose) (1980), Foucault's Pendulum (1988), and The Island of the Day Before (1994) offer the kind of postmodern entertainment, deliberately open to re-interpretation at many different levels, that he had proposed in Apocalittici e integrati (Apocalyptic Postponed) (1964). Recommended Reading: Umberto Eco, The Limits of Interpretation (Indiana, 1994); Umberto Eco, Misreadings (McClelland & Stewart, 1994); Umberto Eco, Six Walks in the Fictional Woods (Belknap, 1995); Reading Eco: An Anthology, ed. by Rocco Capozzi (Indiana, 1997); Michael Caesar, Umberto Eco: Philosophy, Semiotics and the Work of Fiction (Blackwell, 1999); and Out of Chaos: Semiotics: A Festschrift in Honor of Umberto Eco, ed. by William E. Tanner, Anne Gervasi, and Kay Mizzel (Liberal Arts, 1992).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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