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Title: Paranoia and irony in the Anglophone dectective narrative and the novels of Umberto Eco
Author: Key, Jonathan Benjamin
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1999
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The thesis provides a reading of Umberto Eco's three novels, The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, and The Island of the Day Before, that, while it acknowledges the importance of the Italian literary tradition in which they stand, also seeks to explain why their author appeals so frequently to literary models outside Italy, and in particular the Anglo-American detective genre. Chapter One explains Eco's relationship to the development of Italian literature through his lifetime. It is noted that Eco is beginning, both in his semiotics and his fiction, from a position where post-structuralism has been extensively explored by neo-avant-gardew riters. Eco positions himself alongsides uchw riters as Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges, who wish to explore the ludic possibilities of working within structures, while all the time acknowledging the epistemological limitations of so doing. Eco's chosen structure, more often than not, is the highly defined genre of the detective story. From here, the following chapters engage in close readings of the three novels, with particular emphasis on The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum, demonstrating that they explore problems of interpretation central to the detective narrative. In doing this, they display an intimate knowledge of generic developments within the detective tradition, and of the philosophical and aesthetic uses made of the genre by other writers. The embedding of intertextual references to other detective narratives within Eco's novels is an important factor, as they come together to form a narrative of epistemological inquiry that itself follows Eco's philosophical progress through the years. In short, the novels, inter alia, map a systematic inquiry into the possibility of systematic inquiry. They reserve the space to engage in such an ironic and self-referential project precisely through their fictionality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: British Academy
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PQ Romance literatures