The Name of the Rose was the first book written by Umberto Eco from Italy. It is basically a mystery of historical murder whose setting is in an Italian monastery dated 1327. It is generally an intellectual mystery which combines semiotics in a work of fiction, analysis from the bible, literary theory and medieval studies. It was first printed in 1980 in the Italian language and later published in English in 1983 by William Weaver. The book covers a story of Franciscan friar William from Baskerville together with a Benedictine learner, Adso from Melk traveling to a Benedictine monastery, North of Italy to take part in a theological disputation.  On arrival, the monastery is bothered by a mysterious death. As the plot in the book unfolds, a number of people die mysteriously through the same hand. Eventually, while the mysterious deaths are being evaluated, other experiences emerge. The major characters in the book make an exploration of a labyrinthine library of medicine, the laughter subversive power and face the Inquisition. It is left basically to the enormous deduction and logic powers of Eco to get a solution to the abbey mysteries.

Mysterious title of the book

The book starts its mystery from the title, The Name of the Rose. Many wonder the reference the title of the book makes. Indeed, Eco states that the intention was to get an absolute neutral title.  It is a book that the author made a suggestion of various names and requested friends to make a choice. Whilst Eco wanted to call it Adso of Melk, friends chose The Name of the Rose which was affirmed by the publisher. The rose is a symbolic tool which is very rich in meanings that by now, there is no meaning left. The last line of the book states that the rose of yesterday endures in its name while we hold on to empty names. The book points out a general sense that makes a description from the past beauty which ha now disappeared while we have been left still holding the name. Rose or the beauty has remained a by word in the post modern society.

At a certain level, the book exposes the scholastic approach which was very common in the 14th century. Eco shows the deductive reasoning power, particularly syllogisms. He does not accept a simple demonic possession diagnosis despite demonology as the conventional monastic description. Even though the abbey is put under the hesitation that they are going through the final days before the Antichrist comes, the author manages to elaborate through his pragmatic mindset that the murders are indeed committed by a very corporeal tool. Being open minded, gathering facts together with observations and taking up pure perception together with the dialectic method, the author decides on what to investigate, specifically as a scholastic would purpose to do.

The simple use of reason in the book is not sufficient enough

The different happenings and signs only have found meaning through the context presented, and the author should constantly be suspicious of the contexts in which he makes and interpretation of the happenings. Actually, the whole book is a challenge to the writer, Adso the young apprentice and the reader to constantly realize the context being used for interpretation raising the absolute text to different levels that have various hermeneutical impressions. This narrative puts together a number of different lines of plot which take various sources and interpretations of the meaning therein. A lot of the sources and interpretations were very volatile debates in the medieval setting of religion, all whilst spiraling in the direction of what apparently is the key to comprehending and exactly making an interpretation of the case. Even though the final theorems by the author do not truly match the real events as put down in the book, the theorems permit him to offer a solution to the mystery of abbey.

Eco is an open up of the theory of reader response and the concept of open information and text as shown in The Name of the Rose. In a number of occasions, Eco lays focus on the role of the reader in developing the experience and meaning of the literary work. He has constantly used Semiotics Science, sign processes study together with the interpretation and creation of symbols. The author uses a process of give a solution to the murders as a comprehensive metaphor for the interpretation experience of the reader. The book presents post-modernist concepts in the search for reality on the relativistic appearance of meaning and truth in the entire process.  The different events and signs in The Name of the Rose only have found meaning in the particular contexts in which the author must exercise caution of the context is pertinent to when making an interpretation of the mystery in the book. The last theories in the book have not exactly matched the real events and they permit the author to give a solution of the mystery of abbey and therefore attain a truth measure.

Eco came up with this writing in the Middle Ages where there was conflict which existed between a geometrically rational representation of what beauty should have been and the unmediated art life with the dialectic of intentions and forms.  The book presents a number of dialogues and occasions to connect perfectly well with the anticipation to solve the apparent conflict of a religion which is structured and actual spirituality. The author sets up a number of parallel conflicts of philosophy in the book: whole truth against personal interpretation, natural beauty against stylized arts, free will against predestination, religion against spirituality. The book makes a translation of the medieval controversies of religion and heresies into the contemporary economic and political terms. The book thus provides the reader with a modern context to assist them to establish their own interpretations concerning the meaning of the book and the perceptions of the characters.

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