Semiotic, essayist and Italian novelist, born on January 5, 1932 in Alessandria. He/She has taught at the universities of Turin, Milan, Florence and Bologna. He/She has delivered lectures and courses in several European and American universities, directed magazines such as VS-Quaderni-studi semiotici, and chaired the International Association for Semiotic Studies. With his novel the name of the rose (1980), which tells a detective thriller in the rarefied atmosphere of a medieval Abbey, brilliantly stormed the field of literary creation, causing amazement and admiration from critics and readers.
His interest focuses primarily on the study of communication in our world, whereas the semiotics as a science that globalizes all forms of communication, including the non-verbal. Numerous works dedicated to this topic: integrated and apocalyptic: mass communication and the culture of the masses (1964) theory; The absent structure (1968); The form of the content (1973); Treaty of general semiotics (1975); Reader in fabula (1979); Semiotics and the philosophy of language (1984); Meaning and mental representation (1988); On the medieval theory of signs and daily Semilogia (1989); The limits of interpretation (1990). It has also interested by literario-artistica criticism and theory of culture. He/She proposed the notion of "open work" for the work of art, literary or creation, because readers are involved on it and alter the meaning of its contents: open work. Shape and indeterminacy in contemporary poetry (1962). Many of his historico-filosoficas theories are also exposed in his three novels: the name of the rose (1980), the pendulum of Foucault (1988) and the island of the day before (1994).
In 1998 returned to the analysis of language with Tra menzogna and irony (between lying and irony) four essays published in an isolated manner born as prologues or conferences, with a common thread: all are studying the use of various "strategies of lying, cross-dressing, abuse of language and ironic investments of these abuses", in his own words.
In 2000 he/she received the Prince of Asturias Award for communication and Humanities, for "ethical quality, his constant concern for the historical interpretation and its attention to new forms of culture". That same year he/she returned to the narrative genre with the publication of Baudolino, novel set in the middle ages, where the experience of a rogue Italian, who has lived in the Court of the Emperor Federico, provides an excuse to the author to provide a review of one of their favorite times in history.
In 2001 he/she founded the school of Humanities, in the city of Bologna, intended to spread the universal culture.
The mysterious flame of Queen Loana, which chronicles the awakening of Yambo plunged into a thick fog (the dominant element in the novel) after an incident that make you lose memory published in 2004 and that his wife convinced to return to the cottage to recover, where books that read small, his school notebooks are preserved, the music, etc. The cemetery of Prague (2010) is a spy story starring Captain Simonini, a counterfeiter with a double personality whose services are engaged in several European countries.
Other works of Eco are the daily minimum (1992), the search for the perfect language (1993), six walks in the narrative Woods (1994), do you think to those who do not believe? (1996), Kant and the Platypus (1997), five moral writings (1997), the bustina of Minerva (2000), the story of the beauty (2005), the history of ugliness (2007), A crab step: articles, reflections and deceptions 2000-2006 (2006) and say pretty much the same. Experiences of translation (2008).
Umberto Eco is a Knight of the French Legion of Honor and the Duke of the island of the day before, title this last that won in 2008 when he/she was awarded the Kingdom of round award, established in 2001 by the King Xavier I de Redonda (Javier Marías) in recognition of the work of writers and filmmakers in language not Spanish.