Umberto Eco, the great Italian novelist, has passed away. Eco first rose to fame in 1980 with his novel The Name of the Rose, and has been one of the world’s most important novelists for decades. Eco’s death prompted tributes from literary and political luminaries alike.
Eco was a novelist and an academic writer, using both writing forms to shape Italian culture and politics. The author began his career as the cultural editor for Italy’s state-run broadcasting service, and continued to contemplate cultural and political issues throughout his career. Eco became one of Italy’s most respected voices, and his career as a novelist brought him international acclaim.
Umberto Eco passed away during the evening on Friday, February 19, after a battle with cancer. The author was 84 years old. Writers and public figures in Italy and beyond were quick to pen tributes. Italy’s prime minister, Matteo Renzi, called Eco’s passing “an enormous loss for culture, which will miss his writing and voice, his sharp and lively thought, and his humanity.”
This past Friday was a rough day for great novelists, as reclusive novelist Harper Lee also passed away.
Featured image courtesy of Sarah Lee/The Guardian