Sunday, February 21, 2016

is there an eco in here? not any more

Recoil in horror, readers, as the Electric Halibut LIIIIIIBRARY OF DEEEEEEAAAAATH claims another victim. This time it's Italian polymath Umberto Eco: novelist, philosopher, semiotician, literary critic, leg spin bowler, masseur, plasterer, surgeon, groovy cat, gentleman, scholar and acrobat. A formidable CV indeed, but one that did him no good: once I'd read The Name Of The Rose and posted a review to this blog, it was literally guaranteed that he was going to die at some unspecified point in the near, medium or distant future. And so it proved.

The roll call of those directly and specifically slaughtered by this blog, therefore, now reads as follows:

Author Date of first book Date of death Age Curse length
Michael Dibdin 31st January 2007 30th March 2007 60 0y 59d
Beryl Bainbridge 14th May 2008 2nd July 2010 77 2y 50d
Russell Hoban 23rd August 2010 13th December 2011 86 1y 113d
Richard Matheson 7th September 2011 23rd June 2013 87 2y 291d
Elmore Leonard April 16th 2009 20th August 2013 87 4y 128d
Iain Banks 6th November 2006 9th June 2013 59 7y 218d
Doris Lessing 8th May 2007 17th November 2013 94 7y 196d
Gabriel García Márquez 10th July 2007 17th April 2014 87 7y 284d
Ruth Rendell 23rd December 2009 2nd May 2015 85 5y 132d
James Salter 4th February 2014 19th June 2015 90 1y 136d
Henning Mankell 6th May 2013 5th October 2015 67 2y 152d
Umberto Eco 30th June 2012 19th February 2016 84 3y 234d

Eco's death doesn't affect the stats much, as it happens, since the average age for authors to be offed by my book reviews is around 80, and the average time for the curse to take effect is around four years. My nominees from June 2015 (on the occasion of James Salter's death) were Joyce Carol Oates, David Lodge and Milan Kundera. Since I failed to spot Eco then those may as well stand for next time.

Here's an interesting long and wide-ranging interview Eco gave to the Paris Review in 2008, during the course of which he inexplicably failed to predict my hand in his eventual demise.

1 comment:

Andy said...

Another one bites the dust!