The Name of the Rose Essay

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Henningfeld is a professor of English at Adrian College who writes widely on literary topics for academic and educational publications. In this essay, Henningfeld discusses the concept of the labyrinth, the encyclopedia, and model reader for The Name of the Rose.

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 labyrinth is clear. Early in the book, Abo tells William...

(read more from the Critical Essay #1 section)

This section contains 1,888 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Name of the Rose Study Guide
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The Name of the Rose from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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