Fun Facts Friday: Umberto Eco

January 5, 2018

Umberto Eco (5 January, 1932 – 19 February, 2016) was an Italian author, philosopher, teacher and critic. Mr. Eco is mostly known for his 1980 novel The Name of the Rose (Il nome della rosa).

Fun Facts Friday: Umberto EcoBooks by Umberto Eco*

1) Supposedly Eco is an acronym of ex caelis oblatus (Latin for a gift from the heavens).

2) Mr. Eco’s father wanted him to be a lawyer, but Mr. Eco chose to study medieval philosophy and literature in the University of Turin.

3) Even though he wrote his thesis on Thomas Aquinas, he stopped believing in G-d and left the Catholic Church.

4) Between his home in Milan and a vacation home by Urbino, Mr. Eco owned a library of roughly 50,000 books.

5) From 1959 to 1975 he was the senior non-fiction editor a Bompiani, a Milan publishing house.

6) During his long career, Mr. Eco was a visiting professor at Columbia University and Harvard University.

7) He married Renate Ramge, a German art teacher in 1962. The couple had two children, one son and one daughter.

8) Mr. Eco’s novels are full of multilingual and subtle references to history and literature.

9) Along with novels, Mr. Eco also wrote academic texts and children’s books.

10) Mr. Eco said that social media “gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community […] but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It’s the invasion of the idiots.”

Books by Umberto Eco*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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