A Feature Review of
Numero Zero: A Novel
Hardback: HMH Books, 2015
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Reviewed by Jerrad Peters
In Numero Zero Umberto Eco describes the debauched practice of news-making, and in so doing the renowned semiotician, prominent thinker and celebrated author of The Name of the Rose, The Prague Cemetery and Foucault’s Pendulum delivers a novel as shallow as the exercise he satirizes.
This is almost certainly intentional, as a writer as vigorous and a philosopher as significant as Eco did not become lazy and deficient overnight.
So what, then, is the 83-year-old’s objective for his seventh major work of fiction? What, assuming Numero Zero speaks to readers through opera aperta, or the open work approach to interpretation (a semiotic device), is Eco trying to say?