It was on this date, January 5, 1932, that Italian philologist and writer Umberto Eco was born in Alessandria, in the Italian province of Piedmont. He works as a professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, teaching the study of signs and their interpretation, and their function in syntax, semantics and literary theory. Eco is best known for his novel The Name of the Rose (1983), which was made into a 1986 film. The novel is a medieval murder-mystery in which one prominent character argues that God abhors laughter.
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.