Eco logical

December 8, 1995

One question of symbolism that semiologist Umberto Eco has failed to unveil until now is his own surname. Theorists have claimed it is Jewish, Sardinian and Albanian, among others. But now Eco has revealed that his name is an acronym of divine origin. He told the New York Times that his grandfather, a foundling, received from the church the name "Ex Caelis Oblatus", Gift of the Heaven. There's less of a ring to it but maybe the English version of his name should be "Umberto Goth".

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