“Umberto Eco, an Italian scholar in the arcane field of semiotics who became the author of best-selling novels, notably the blockbuster medieval mystery ‘The Name of the Rose,’ died on Friday at his home in Milan,” The New York Times reports. Eco was 84.
No cause of death was given.
“As a semiotician, Mr. Eco sought to interpret cultures through their signs and symbols — words, religious icons, banners, clothing, musical scores, even cartoons — and published more than 20 nonfiction books on these subjects while teaching at the University of Bologna, Europe’s oldest university,” The Times reports.
Eco, who often incorporated his scholarly focus into his fiction, published “The Name of the Rose” in 1980, and the book went on to sell more than 10 million copies. It was adapted into a successful film starring Sean Connery and F. Murray Abraham in 1986.