Just read an interview with Umberto Eco by Antonio Gnoli of the newspaper La Repubblica, the occasion being his 80th birthday on the 5th of this month.
To those not familiar with this fellow, let it suffice to say that he is an unsurpassed essayist, writer, medievalist, professor of semiotics (a general philosophical theory of signs and symbols) at the University of Bologna (the oldest of them all), media guru and a flautist to boot.
Here he is, obviously not even close to eighty, but a face and an air about him that exemplifies a self-assured man of wit and love of life!
and one in later years more in keeping with the persona of the philosopher
If you still has some doubt about this gentleman, then
the above will tell you that he wrote the book that was made into that movie, which I saw a couple of times; I remember another interview about this book when it came out when he said that it, the book, was really a romanzo (a novel) and advised readers that they could skip chapter eight (I think it was that) as it was full of arcane philosophical discourse, I tried a couple of pages, followed the advice and went quickly onto number nine!
Just recently, in recognition of his ouvre and his eclecticism, the americans (as he says) of The Library of Living Philosophers which has already published Dewey, Russel and others, will produce a volume which will comprise a hundred or so autobiographic philosophical pages, essays written by twenty-five fellow philosophers about his work (philosophy, but also novels) and the answers he will write to each one! And all will need to be done before passing away given the living philosophers clause..........
Happy birthday signor Eco and godspeed on that latest monumental task!