Goodbye Umberto Eco & Harper Lee!

This weekend two of my favorite writers passed away at the same day: Harper Lee and Umberto Eco. I am not a big fan of them, in the sense that I only had read one book of each: To Kill a Mockingbird and The Name of the Rose. But somehow they had inspired me back then. Their works had given me many a good time. Yes, those books command multiple rereads.

The Name of the Mockingbird Is Rose! (Well, this ain’t a mockingbird, but it’s OK)

When I was in college, I came to know about Umberto Eco’s work from Ibu Gadis Arivia’s thesis. It was about semiotics and signs in The Name of the Rose. And thought, Hey there is ‘sem’ in ‘semiotics’, thus I was drawn to the subject. His book proved to be engaging, fun to read. A real page turner. Very imaginative and thrilling. He created a place that felt so true I wanted to go there. From there on I quit touching my tongue with index finger when reading. (clue: read the novel yourself to find out!)

And then about the second book: I found it as a heavily discounted book at Periplus. Thought, Who is Harper Lee? Why would someone want to kill a mockingbird? OK it,’s cheap. I’ll give it a try. Then I found myself sleepless for two days in a row and when I finished the last page, I returned to the very first page right away! She also created a story that felt so real I wanted to meet Calpurnia!

Two very different writers, one Italian and one American. Yet strangely I never wanted to know about their private life. I felt contented by checking about them in Wikipedia. Perhaps that’s just how it is like: just celebrate their works and leave the authors alone.

After hearing the sad news, I began to search for their books just to read them again, especially the favorite chapters. But found none. Where are they? I tried to locate them. Then I remembered that I had donated the books not long ago. As these books had done me good, I hope that those book do them wonders!


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