So I was reading Umberto Eco at a bar the other night.… Hmmm, no. Let me back up.
A new posthumous collection of Eco’s essays was just published in the United States. The Italian philosopher, critic and author, who gained international fame in 1980 with his medieval murder mystery, “The Name of the Rose,” died in February 2016. His last writings were published in Italy a few weeks later. He was a youthful 84.
Since 1985, Eco had penned a weekly, then biweekly, topical column for the Italian news magazine L’Espresso. But as he wryly notes in the preface to the new volume, “I regarded it as topical that one evening I had decided, maybe, to reread a page of Herodotus, a Grimms’ fairy tale, or a Popeye comic.”