by Umberto Eco
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Harcourt (June 5, 2006)
Yambo, a sixtyish rare-book dealer who lives in Milan, has suffered a loss of memory-he can remember the plot of every book he has ever read, every line of poetry, but he no longer knows his own name, doesn’t recognize his wife or his daughters, and remembers nothing about his parents or his childhood. In an effort to retrieve his past, he withdraws to the family home somewhere in the hills between Milan and Turin. There, in the sprawling attic, he searches through boxes of old newspapers, comics, records, photo albums, and adolescent diaries. And so Yambo relives the story of his generation: Mussolini, Catholic education and guilt, Josephine Baker, Flash Gordon, Fred Astaire. His memories run wild, and the life racing before his eyes takes the form of a graphic novel. Yambo struggles through the frames to capture one simple, innocent image: that of his first love.
A fascinating, abundant new novel-wide-ranging, nostalgic, funny, full of heart-from the incomparable Eco.
About the author
Umberto Eco, (born 5 January 1932) is an Italian semiotician, essayist, philosopher, literary critic, and novelist. He is best known for his groundbreaking 1980 historical mystery novel Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose), an intellectual mystery combining semiotics in fiction, biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory.
Eco was born in the city of Alessandria in the Italian region of Piedmont. Although his father was very keen for Umberto to study law, he instead entered the University of Turin in order to take up medieval philosophy and literature. Umberto’s thesis was on the topic of Thomas Aquinas and this earned him a BA in philosophy in 1954. In that period, after a crisis of faith, Eco abandoned the Roman Catholic Church.
Following this, Eco worked as a cultural editor for RAI, Radiotelevisione Italiana, the state broadcasting station, he also became a lecturer at the University of Turin (1956–64). A group of avant-garde artists—painters, musicians, writers—whom he had befriended at RAI (Gruppo 63) became an important and influential component in Eco’s future writing career. This was especially true after the publication of his first book in 1956, Il problema estetico di San Tommaso, which was an extension of his doctoral thesis. This also marked the beginning of his lecturing career at his alma mater.
In September 1962, he married Renate Ramge, a German art teacher with whom he has a son and a daughter. Now 82 years old, he divides his time between an apartment in Milan and a vacation house near Rimini. He has a 30,000 volume library in the former and a 20,000 volume library in the latter. — Wikipedia and the official site of the writer
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