Confessions of a Young Novelist

Confessions of a Young Novelist

Umberto Eco
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt2jbtgb
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  • Book Info
    Confessions of a Young Novelist
    Book Description:

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    eISBN: 978-0-674-06087-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature, Philosophy, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-[viii])
  3. 1 Writing from Left to Right
    (pp. 1-32)

    These lectures are entitled Confessions of a Young Novelist—and one might well ask why, since I am marching toward my seventy-seventh year. But it so happens that I published my first novel, The Name of the Rose, in 1980, which means that I started my career as a novelist a mere twenty-eight years ago. Thus, I consider myself a very young and certainly promising novelist, who has so far published only five novels and will publish many more in the next fifty years. This work in progress is still unfinished (otherwise it wouldn’t be in progress), but I hope...

  4. 2 Author, Text, and Interpreters
    (pp. 33-68)

    It sometimes happens that one of my translators will ask me the following question: “I am at a loss as to how to render this passage, because it is ambiguous. It can be read two different ways. What was your intention?”

    Depending on the case, I have three possible answers:

    1. That’s true. I have chosen the wrong expression.

    In the next Italian edition, I’ll do the same.

    2. I deliberately wanted to be ambiguous. If you read attentively, you will see that this ambiguity has a bearing on the way the text is read. Please do your best to keep the...

  5. 3 Some Remarks on Fictional Characters
    (pp. 69-120)

    After the publication of The Name of the Rose, many readers wrote to me saying that they had discovered and visited the abbey where I set my story. Many others asked for more information about the manuscript I mention in the book’s introduction. In the same introduction, I say that I found an unnamed book by Athanasius Kircher at an antiquarian bookshop in Buenos Aires. Recently—that is, nearly thirty years after the publication of my novel—a German fellow wrote to me saying that he had just found an antiquarian bookshop in Buenos Aires with a volume by Kircher,...

  6. 4 My Lists
    (pp. 121-204)

    I had a Catholic education, and thus became used to reciting and listening to litanies. Litanies are by nature repetitious. Usually they are lists of laudatory phrases, as with the Litanies of the Virgin: “Sancta Maria,” “Sancta dei genitrix,” “Sancta Virgo virginum,” “Mater Christi,” “Mater divinae gratiae,” “Mater purissima,” and so on.

    Litanies, like phone books and catalogues, are a type of list. They are cases of enumeration. Perhaps, at the beginning of my career as a narrator of fiction, I did not realize how fond I was of lists. Now, after five novels and some other literary attempts, I...

  7. Notes
    (pp. 207-220)
  8. Index
    (pp. 221-232)