Umberto Eco

Italian Works

The following works have been submitted by Andrea D’Alessandro, who is responsible for the commentary as well.


Il miracolo di san Baudolino

Introduction to AA.VV.: Strutture ed eventi dell’economia alessandrina
Cassa di Risparmio di Alessandria, Alessandria 1981.

This text is the introduction to a book published by the local bank of the city that gave birth to Eco. Is a recollection of Eco’s youth.

Storia dei Rosa Croce

By Paul Arnold. Introduction by Umberto Eco.
Bompiani, Milano: 1989, ISBN 88-452-1379-X.

This is a famous history of the mysterious so-called Rosicrucian fellowship (original title “Histoire des Rose-Croix.”) Eco pushed the Bompiani publisher for the publication of this book, due to the interest in the RC in the wake of Foucault’s Pendulum.

Semiosi naturale e parola nei Promessi Sposi

Article contained in AA.VV.: Leggere i Promessi Sposi
Bompiani, Milano: 1989, ISBN 88-452-1466-4.

One of a collection of essays on semiosis in Alessandro Manzoni’s Promessi Sposi (Betrothed). Published in the series “Strumenti Bompiani,” directed by Umberto Eco himself.

Cinque scritti morali

Umberto Eco.
Bompiani, Milano: 1997

From IBSi (translated and abridged):

A little book, with five small essays on ethical themes – what should be done, what shouldn’t, and what must not be done at all. Two are on contemporary themes, “Pensare la guerra” (“Thinking the war”) and Sulla stampa” (“On the press.”) Another – “Le migrazioni, la tolleranza e l’intollerabile” (“Migrations, tolerance and the intolerable”) – on the growth of immigration in Europe. “Il fascismo eterno” (“The eternal fascism”) is an analysis of the italian fascism as a regime “that did not own a quintessence, and not even an essence” and was “a collage of different political and philosophical ideas, and a hive of contradictions.” According to Eco, it is possible to delineate a “eternal fascism,” with specifical characteristics. The last essay is a answer to cardinal Carlo Maria Martini (archbishop of Milan) on the existence of “secular devotion” – an ethics founded on principles that are not metaphysical. As a conclusion, Eco affirms the belief that “on the fundamentals points, a natural ethics . . . can meet an ethics founded on trascendental faith.”

The answer to Cardinal Martini forms part of the English work, Belief or Nonbelief.

Tra menzogna e ironia

Umberto Eco.
Bompiani, Milano: 1998.

From IBSi (translated):

Four readings that analyze falsehood and irony in Cagliostro, Manzoni, Campanile e Hugo Pratt. Cagliostro lies with words and behaviour, as lies are the legends on his character. Manzoni shows the gap between the verbal language (source of lies) and natural signs; and is ironical about the literary language. The same happens with Campanile, that lies jokingly. Pratt too uses the fiction as an ironic and fantastic joke. With these essays Eco offer us a subtle intellectual amusement in a different reading of these characters of contemporary culture and history.

Red Bar

Go To:

Works Main Page – Back to Works Main Page, where you will find the standard Porta Ludovica menu.

Fiction – Details and reviews of Eco’s three novels.

General Nonfiction – Collections of columns & general essays.

Language & Literary Criticism – Non-semiotic works about language, aesthetics, and literary criticism, including chapters and contributions.

Semiotics – All works on semiotics, including chapters and contributions.

Children’s Books – Books for children.

Collaborations & Contributions – Non-semiotic works written in collaboration with others.

Bibliography – An expanding bibliography of Italian and English works.


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–Andrea D’Alessandro
& A. Ruch

8 November 2004