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Umberto Eco

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ENTERTAINMENT
June 2, 2011 | By Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
Umberto Eco wrote his first novel, "The Name of the Rose," in 1980. It was the first of only five novels, and it was a runaway bestseller. "The Name of the Rose" was so popular that critics accused Eco, a semiotics professor, of programming a computer with a secret formula for a successful novel. Eco was, of course, offended and fired back a series of sarcastic modest proposals that pretty much flattened his critics. There may not be a formula, or a recipe, but there are ingredients for a successful novel, and now, decades later, Eco has decided to tell us what he believes they are. "The Name of the Rose" began with a list of the names of monks.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 2013
William Weaver Acclaimed translator of prominent Italian writers William Weaver, 90, one of the world's most honored and widely read translators, who helped introduce English-language readers to the works of Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino and many other Italian writers, died Nov. 12 at a retirement home in Rhinebeck, N.Y., his family said. The retired Bard College literature professor had been in poor health for years after a stroke. An ambulance driver in Italy during World War II, Weaver went on to translate some of that country's popular and influential books, notably Eco's international bestseller "The Name of the Rose" and Calvino's singular historical tale, "Invisible Cities.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2011 | By Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times
Bookish digressions and odd cultural details are two reasons why we read Umberto Eco. He takes great pleasure in showing readers the monastic care of books in "The Name of the Rose," the kabbalah in "Foucault's Pendulum" and day-to-day life in Mussolini's Italy in "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. " Without such layers, without his plunging into the minutiae of other eras, it just wouldn't be an Eco novel. Such details and digressions are also crucial to his latest, "The Prague Cemetery," maybe even more than in any of his other novels.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2011
The Prague Cemetery A Novel Umberto Eco, translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 445 pp., $27
BOOKS
December 17, 1995 | Marina Warner, Marina Warner is the author of the recently published "From the Beast to the Blonde: On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
The old Aristotle decided that a love of wonder was the beginning of wisdom; for this reason he loved myths, which were full of marvels. In "The Name of the Rose," Umberto Eco imagined Aristotle's lost book on laughter and managed to create a comic thriller around the philosophical issue of rationalist irony and skepticism.
NEWS
June 1, 1993 | CHRIS GOODRICH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Umberto Eco has been a well-known literary figure since "The Name of the Rose" hit the U.S. bestseller lists in 1983, but in certain circles he had been prominent since the mid-1970s, when he published "A Theory of Semiotics."
NEWS
November 9, 1989 | DAVID TREADWELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
It was a glorious Indian summer day in Manhattan, the kind that Umberto Eco ordinarily might spend roaming the city streets and drinking in the sights and sounds. But these are not ordinary times for the portly, bearded university professor-turned-novelist, who created a literary sensation almost a decade ago with the publication of his first fictional work, "The Name of the Rose."
BOOKS
November 5, 1989 | Richard Eder
Umberto Eco's new novel is an artichoke with 641 leaves and not much heart. There is some real pleasure in artichoke leaves, but what with the work and the scratchiness you probably wouldn't undertake one unless you thought there would be a heart in it. True, in "Foucault's Pendulum" the absence is part of the point.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2011
The Prague Cemetery A Novel Umberto Eco, translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 445 pp., $27
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2011 | By Nick Owchar, Los Angeles Times
Bookish digressions and odd cultural details are two reasons why we read Umberto Eco. He takes great pleasure in showing readers the monastic care of books in "The Name of the Rose," the kabbalah in "Foucault's Pendulum" and day-to-day life in Mussolini's Italy in "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. " Without such layers, without his plunging into the minutiae of other eras, it just wouldn't be an Eco novel. Such details and digressions are also crucial to his latest, "The Prague Cemetery," maybe even more than in any of his other novels.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 2, 2011 | By Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times
Umberto Eco wrote his first novel, "The Name of the Rose," in 1980. It was the first of only five novels, and it was a runaway bestseller. "The Name of the Rose" was so popular that critics accused Eco, a semiotics professor, of programming a computer with a secret formula for a successful novel. Eco was, of course, offended and fired back a series of sarcastic modest proposals that pretty much flattened his critics. There may not be a formula, or a recipe, but there are ingredients for a successful novel, and now, decades later, Eco has decided to tell us what he believes they are. "The Name of the Rose" began with a list of the names of monks.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 7, 2010 | By Nick Owchar
Michael OrdoƱa's recent talk, on The Times' blog Hero Complex, with actor Paul Bettany about his role as Michael the archangel in the movie "Legion" touches on all the militaristic imagery of angels. There's also plenty of that in a gorgeous coffee table book, "The Glory of Angels" by Edward Lucie-Smith, that came and went around the Christmas season. I retrieved mine from the shelf after seeing Bettany's armed, winged, six-pack image at our local AMC. Then, I asked myself the following questions: -- What was that battle between heaven's forces and the rebel angels really like?
BOOKS
June 5, 2005 | Richard Eder, Richard Eder, former book critic for The Times, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1987.
He who lives by the text will die by the text; unless he kills it off first. This, more or less, is what Umberto Eco has done in the alternate convolutions and straight runs of his latest novel. Eco has written four other novels, most famously "The Name of the Rose." All are knotted tight in the coils of semiology, Eco's academic specialty, which treats the text as its own reality, superseding content, meaning, style and creator.
BOOKS
October 27, 2002 | Iain Pears, Iain Pears is the author of, most recently, "The Dream of Scipio."
Many years ago, when I was a jobbing reporter for a news agency in Rome, we received a circular from a publisher inviting one of our number to go to Bologna to interview a professor of semiotics who had written a novel. It was a quiet period, but there was little enthusiasm for taking up the offer, despite Bologna's reputation as the culinary capital of Italy.
NEWS
December 3, 2001 | MERLE RUBIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
FIVE MORAL PIECES by Umberto Eco Harcourt $23, 128 pages "Enlightenment" is a term with a wealth of connotations. It summons up both an era and a process: the Age of Reason in 18th century Europe, when the clear light of rational, systematic inquiry gained ascendancy over superstition, tradition, blind faith and submission to authority. Enlightenment also conveys another sense of "lightness": a kind of buoyancy and freedom. Can there ever be too much enlightenment?
BOOKS
November 30, 1986 | Richard J. Morris
ART AND BEAUTY IN THE MIDDLE AGES by Umberto Eco; translated by Hugh Bredin (Yale University: $12.95; 131 pp.). Originally published in 1959 as a contributed chapter to a handbook on the history of aesthetics, this slim volume by Umberto Eco is a model of what a historical survey should be. As he moves easily through the Middle Ages, Eco engages us in conversation with some of the most stimulating minds of the period. Yet not with minds, either. With people: Witelo, Hugh of St.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2000 | NORA GALLAGHER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"Belief or Nonbelief" is a short but challenging book, an exchange of letters between Umberto Eco, the Italian novelist and scholar, and Carlo Maria Martini, the Roman Catholic cardinal of Milan. A newspaper in Milan asked the two men to write to each other (and published the results) because they represent the believer and the nonbeliever, the Catholic and the secularist, the one who left the church and the one who stayed.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 14, 1999 | MARK SWED, TIMES MUSIC CRITIC
Robert Wilson's latest theatrical spectacle/opera, "The Days Before: death, destruction and detroit III," which was among the opening events of Lincoln Center Festival 99 last week, is magic. The lighting is gorgeous beyond all description--background colors, subtle and vivid, and precise spots of luminous white light induce figures and properties to glow as if divinely lit.
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