Entering a book as wonderfully rich and complicated as The Name of the Rose is both exhilarating and frightening. Where to begin? How to read? What ought a reader do with the vast quantities of information Eco spills out on every page? One helpful way of entering the text is to first consider two of Eco’s controlling metaphors—the labyrinth and the encyclopedia—then to examine the idea of the model reader, and finally to imagine a number of possible (but by no means exhaustive) entry points.
That Eco wants readers to consider the idea of the...
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