Umberto Eco is a literary master. The bestselling author of The Name of the Rose spins prose at once compelling and complex, full of facts, twists, and details born of scholarship in philosophy, medievalism, and semiotics. His latest novel, The Prague Cemetery, summons a world of assassination and intrigue and serves up a conspiracy theory rooted in 19th-century history, inspired by an era Eco calls “full of monstrous and mysterious events.” All of the characters, except its main one, really existed. It poses the question, what if every conspiracy, in a world full of conspiracies, were connected by a single, evil genius, who turned modern history into a massive diatribe that still governs how we think? Eco reads from his new book and discusses his work with Chicago Tribune cultural critic Julia Keller.
This program is generously underwritten by Lois and Harrison Steans and is presented in partnership with the Chicago Tribune.
Speakers and Performers
Umberto Eco is an Italian medievalist, semiotician, philosopher, literary critic, and novelist. His books include The Name of the Rose, Foucault’s Pendulum, and, most recently, The Prague Cemetery. His bestsellers have been translated into multiple languages.
Julia Keller won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2005 and has been a cultural critic at the Chicago Tribune since late 1998. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Marshall University and her doctorate in English from Ohio State University. In the fall of 2006, she was McGraw Professor of Writing at Princeton University. Keller is also guest essayist on the public television program The Newshour with Jim Lehrer. Her book Mr. Gatling’s Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It was published in 2008.CHF Suggests