multiplicity of meanings which henmust hunt for and find. Indeed, accordingnto how he feels at one particularnmoment, the reader might choose anpossible interpretative key whichnstrikes him as exemplary of thisnspiritual state.nFrom the standpoint of semiotics, it cannbe said that the reader in the Middle Ages,nwho was undoubtedly a member of thenclergy, as the characters in The Name ofnthe Rose aie, worked with a huge numbernof signifiers and, ultimately, one signified:nGod. No matter which key he selected,nthe reader would end at God. The Namenof the Rose is, in effect, written by a monknwho lived during the I4th century. Ifnone were to receive that manuscript fromnthe hands of Adso, then that personnwould undoubtedly read the text as angloss on the glory of God. But in today’snworld, wherein the Church is just one ofnmany forms of belief, there is truly an”multiplicity of meanings” available innany given work of art. In the case of ThenName of the Rose, there is almost an exponentialnincrease in the number ofnmeanings, as Mr. Eco undoubtedly workednto provide various ne approach that some postmodernnnovelists employ to provide what theynthink is a multiplicity of meanings is tonthrow away all conventional literarynforms, such as point of view and rudimentarynrules of syntax. The pages arenendless blocks of type or unmonoMthicnremarks that catmot even be describednas being gnostic. While 1 wiU ^ree thatnthere exists no final Word on what a novelnshould or should not be and that validnarguments can be made for the legitimacynof these bizarre productions (afternall, if Richardson set the standard, thennTristram Shandy would be nothing morenthan a curious relic), it seems to me thatnsuch texts are usually unsatisfying becausenthey are either overdetermined orntoo elusive. While the fault may lie in thenreader and not in the text, my inabilitynto find the authors’ “unadulterable specificity”nbecause of those conditions—nwhich are both matters, essentially, ofnlOinChronicles of Culturenform—causes the texts to be seen fromnno perspective.nMr. Eco takes the opposite tack andnsubmits himself to a very strict formalnarrangement in The Name of the Rose,none that is delineated in Ms. Smarr’snItalian Renaissance Tales, a fascinatingncollection of, mainly, post-Boccacciontales and novellas, for which she providesna valuable introduction. (TheDecameronnappeared 1348-1353; The Name of thenRose is set in November 1327, though itnwas “written” in the 1380’s or 1390’s.)nOne characteristic that most of thenpieces that she presents and which ThenName of the Rose shares is the use of thennarrative frame. The frame goes back tonancient times (e.g., Apuleius’ GoldennAss), but Boccaccio was most influentialnin its widespread reemployment. Boccaccionfi:ames The Decameron with days:n10 people tell tales during two weeks’ntime. Mr. Eco also uses days, one week.nMr. Eco constructs a still finer grid: thendays are divided into the liturgical hoursn(i.e.. Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext,nNones, Vespers, Compline). As mentioned,nBoccaccio used 10 narrators; innThe Name of the Rose, to ignore the prefatorynmaterial for the moment, there isnjust one. This seems to indicate an influencenon Mr. Eco by Matteo Bandellon(1485-c. 1561) who, Ms. Smarr says,n”developed a longer, more elaboratennarrative, often following the developmentnof a character through many yearsnand demonstrating in some cases a realismnof observation and a depth of psychologicalninterest unparalleled sincenBoccaccio.” The Name of the Rose is anlong narrative by any standards, 502npages in length, and is packed fiill of detailsnthat contribute to physical and psychologicalnrealism. Although Mr. Eco’snnarrator could not have been influencednby Bandello, Mr. Eco could have been,nso from the standpoint of hermeneutics,nBandello can be considered with regardnIn the forthcoming issue of Chronicles of Culture:nArts & PowernP( ilitu s and art differ in kind. The political focuses on andnends with vK’iety; art begins where politics ends and addressesnthe essential dimension of our personal lives. Thus, whUenpolitic lans strive to satisfy material wants and needs, thenirtist spi aks to our spirituality; while politicians praise ourncqualit) at the ballot box, the artist glorifies our humann