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Eco, Umberto (Translated by Geoffrey Brock) . THE MYSTERIOUS FLAME OF QUEEN LOANA: AN ILLUSTRATED NOVEL. New York City, NY: Harcourt Inc. , 2005. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 469 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's fifth novel. One of the most important literary events of our time. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Umberto Eco's "La Misteriosa Fiamma della Regina Loana" in a felicitous English translation. His first and only illustrated novel, this is Eco's autobiographical response to Proust, evoking the work of voyeuristic memory where Proust memorably evoked the sensuous one. Yambo, a rare book dealer, suffers amnesia of a very rare kind: He can remember every book and line of poetry he has ever read. But he has forgotten his own name, does not recognize his wife or daughters, and remembers nothing about his childhood or parents. "In an effort to retrieve his past, he withdraws to the ancestral home. There, in the sprawling attic, he searches through boxes of old newspapers, comics, records, photo albums, and adolescent diaries. And so he relives - and remembers - the story of his generation: Mussolini, Catholic education and guilt, Josephine Baker, Flash Gordon, Fred Astaire. His memories run wild and the life racing before his eyes takes the form of this graphic novel" (Publisher's blurb). A lifelong prodigy with a photographic memory, Eco shows that remembering what we know, the sum total of knowledge, experience, and feeling that is lodged in our heads, is more crucial, human, and devastating than remembering our so-called identity, traditionally the focus of memory-work. Time flies: One looked forward to a new Umberto Eco book with reliable, nearly annual, regularity, and even if, lest one forget, the book in question needed to be translated first - with the author's complete involvement and full blessing - before it could actually be published. Those of us who were fortunate enough to see and hear him in person knew first-hand that apart from being a ground-breaking scholar, philosopher, cultural critic ("semiotician"), and literary artist/novelist, Eco was a fastidious polylinguist whose command of the English language was better than most native speakers'. Umberto Eco died on February 19, 2016 at the age of 84, the exact same day as Harper Lee, another literary icon of the less prolific kind, who died at the age of 89. They will both be missed. An absolute "must-have" title for Umberto Eco collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the title page by Umberto Eco. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page, and on top of the page, making it even more prominent. Eco signed his name in full (as opposed to the more common "U. Eco"), and his signature is clean, flowing, and elegant. Laid-in is a pristine copy of the Souvenir Material of the event during which his signature was obtained. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of few such signed copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Copies available online command between $200 and more. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare signed copy thus. Lavishly illustrated with color plates of original art, memorabilia, and collectibles from the author's vast personal collection. One of the greatest writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER UMBERTO ECO TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0151011400. $100.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on July 27, 2017.