Eco, Dickens, who else?

Paul Andinach pandinac at
Mon Feb 10 21:06:32 EST 2003

On Mon, 10 Feb 2003, Robyn Starkey wrote:

> > Incidentally, do you know why Eco called it _The Name of the
> > Rose_? It's to stop people forming preconceptions about the book
> > before they've actually read it. If he'd called it, say, _Murder
> > in the Monastery_, everyone would immediately form a mental
> > picture of what the book is like, and a lot of people would avoid
> > it for reasons that didn't actually apply (or read it and then
> > blame the author because it wasn't what they expected). "The Name
> > of the Rose", however, could mean any one of so many different
> > things that preconceptive apparatus is paralysed with indecision,
> > and the reader is forced to take the book on its own merits.
> I think the name of the novel also had a lot to do with the way he
> was playing with language. In the original Italian there are a lot
> of puns and plays on words that revolve around the idea of the
> name of the rose.

Yes, but were they in the book before he decided on the title?  :)

But you're right that the title fits well with the way Eco plays with
the language. Eco says that "The Name of the Rose" wasn't his first
choice, but I think that it fits the book better than the title that

"Hold fast to the one noble thing."

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