Forthcoming: Numero Zero, English translation of Eco’s latest novel


Finally, there is some information available on the English translation of Umberto Eco’s new novel. The US edition will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on November 3, 2015. The UK publisher Harvill Secker will release the book two days later. Judging by the preliminary information, the title of the English translation will remain the same as that of the original: Numero Zero. However, the November of 2015 is still pretty far away, and anything can change by that time. The novel’s translator is Richard Dixon, who has also translated Umberto Eco’s penultimate novel The Prague Cemetery. It will be interesting to see the reception of the novel by the English language reader. The Italian response was a tad lukewarm, which is understandable since the events discussed in the novel are too familiar for most of Italians; as a result,  Numero Zero didn’t offer them that thrill of discovery which was definitely present in his other novels. As for myself, I ended up quite liking this small book, which could serve as a perfect introduction to Umberto Eco’s formidable oeuvre as it has all the major themes of the Italian intellectual in homeopathic doses. And you know what, when I come to think of it, I realise that I am rather discombobulated by the zero translation of the title. Is it really impossible to come up with any appropriate equivalent in English? If you think that my variant Zero Issue is lame, you can offer your solutions. The translator of  On Literature Englished it as Dummy Run.

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