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Schilling, Erik (2015): Umberto Eco between postmodernism and narrative: Il nome della rosa, Il pendolo di Foucault, and La misteriosa fiamma della regina Loana. In: Forum Italicum : A Journal of Italian Studies, Vol. 49, No. 3: pp. 800-811


In this article, Umberto Eco’s novels will be analyzed as postmodern and neo-realist narration. From Il nome della rosa onwards, Eco does not only deal with questions of (literary) theory – such as semiotics, interpretation, and deconstruction – but also with ontological issues. Although striking examples of ‘theory-aware’ texts, Il nome della rosa and Il pendolo di Foucault consider the idea of a non-arbitrary perspective on the world. Putting further emphasis on this, La misteriosa fiamma della regina Loana stands in contrast to a postmodern play with theory and history. It can be described as a historical novel that highlights chances and limits of historiography. At the same time, it illustrates a return of narrative that goes hand in hand with a re-installation of author and narrator, the literary instances that had been put into question by Eco’s earlier novels.