The Name of the Rose and The Fictional World of Archives

Original Novel Title: Il nome della rosa (1980)

Author: Umberto Eco

Translated from the Italian by William Weaver (1983)

Semiotician Eco's brilliant medieval murder mystery set in a 14th century Franciscan monastery hinges on the work of monks in the Abbey scriptorium. Diplomatics forms the core of the investigation by Brother William of Baskerville and his young novice accomplice, Adso of Melk. As a reminder of how precarious the survival of archives can be, it is worth quoting the last two sentences:

It is cold in the scriptorium, my thumb aches. I leave this manuscript, I do not know for whom; I no longer know what it is about: stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus.

Feature Film Release Date (North America): 1986

Sean Connery stars as Brother William of Baskerville who is called in to solve the bizarre and horrific murders at the Abbey. Adso of Melk, the author of the manuscript that forms the basis of Eco's novel, is played by Christian Slater.

  1. The Internet Movie Database

CONTENTS: The Fictional World of Archives

Submitted by Patrick Cunningham and David Mattison, 1997.01.04. Updated 1997.01.04.