The next two pieces of journalism in this series will deal with Umberto Eco. Burgess and Eco were friends for many years, exchanging ideas about literature during Burgess’s time living in Italy. He was a great admirer of Eco’s work and reviewed him frequently in various different places, often returning to The Name of the Rose and what he called Eco’s ‘preincarnation of Sherlock Holmes’.
In the archive at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, there is a plenitude of materials to do with Eco, including correspondence, photographs, reviews, and other articles. In the Burgess library there is an inscribed copy of Foucault’s Pendulum, Eco’s follow up to The Name of the Rose. Eco was an honorary patron of the Burgess Foundation until his death in February 2016.
In the following article, Burgess writes about how Eco’s role as a semiologist has an impact on his fiction.