Eco was educated at the University of Turin, where he wrote his thesis on Thomas Aquinas. He is both a best-selling novelist and a widely respected semiotician. His acclaimed (and best-selling) novel THE NAME OF THE ROSE contains playful semiotic elements; he says he began writing it because he "felt like poisoning a monk." It was made into a well-received movie in 1986. Eco has also been cultural editor for an Italian media magazine and a lecturer at various universities in Europe and America.