Saturday, February 20, 2016

Italy mourns Umberto Eco, one of the great European intellectuals – L’Obs

Rome (AFP) – Italy and thousands of readers crying Saturday death of Umberto Eco, one of the great European intellectuals, the public also admired for his novels, including the bestseller “In the Name of the Rose” .

Umberto Eco, who had cancer, died Friday at the age of 84 at his home in Milan, his family said the Italian media.

the head Italian government Matteo Renzi immediately paid tribute to one of the most famous Italians in the world, but primarily novelist semiotician, linguist and philosopher.

“It was an extraordinary example of European intellectual” said Matteo Renzi. “He was able to combine both a singular understanding of the past and a tireless ability to anticipate the future,” he said.

His friends remember a good living, which magnet whiskey and witticisms, and for whom writing was “a breeze it did not take seriously,” as he himself explained when asked why it had taken so long to publish his first novel.

He was 48 years old when fate, in 1980, “in the name of the rose”, which quickly became an international bestseller, translated into 43 languages ​​and sold more than ten milion copies .

He has received many academic and literary awards, liked to say in the receiving. “from now on, the Nobel or nothing”

It will never be granted. Yet he left behind a large number of novels, including the last, number zero, released last year, spoke of Italy and of the press.

But it’s investigation a Franciscan monk, former inquisitor, in a Benedictine abbey in the fourteenth century in northern Italy that will make it forever famous in the world.

the popularity of the novel owes much to the film that s’ is inspired, directed by the French Jean-Jacques Annaud, with Sean Connery in the lead role.

“We have visited many monasteries all, it was a crazy dynamic, always leaving me totally free including the choice of Sean Connery that had devastated except that when he saw the film, he said it was the most successful thing, “recalled the director.

“it was a character quite fascinating because of an embarrassing scholarship, which always makes you feel a little jerk, and an amazing life gaiety, an explosive mix,” he entrusted

-. clarinet player –

Men left, Eco was not the writer locked in his ivory tower and clarinet player wrote regularly for . ‘weekly L’Espresso and La Repubblica

“the world lost one of the most important men of his contemporary culture,” wrote the Roman newspaper on its website, adding that “his view of the world we will miss him. “

the flags were lowered to half in Alessandria, Piemonte small town near the French border, where Umberto Eco was born in 1932. a polyglot, married to a German, Eco taught in many universities, especially in Bologna (north) where he held the chair of semiotics until October 2007, when he retired.

he was also holder of the European Chair the College de France in 1992-1993.

After the “Name of the rose”, he has offered his readers “Foucault’s Pendulum” (1988), “the island of the day of before “(1994) and” the mysterious flame of Queen Loana (2004). “

He is also the author of dozens of essays on subjects as diverse as medieval aesthetics, poetics Joyce, plant memory, James Bond, the art of the false, the story of the beauty or the ugliness.

“the beautiful lies within certain limits while ugly is endless, so more complex, more varied, more fun, “he explained in an interview in 2007, adding that he had” always had affection for monsters. “

Renowned difficult access in his essays but also in some of his novels, Umberto Eco explained simply: “people are tired of simple things, they want to be challenged”

in addition, he said,. “I think a writer should write what the reader does not expect”.


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