The Name of the Rose

Unnamed Narrator Character Analysis

This narrator writes a preface titled “Naturally, A Manuscript,” in which he gives an account how he found a copy of the manuscript by the fourteenth-century German monk Adso of Melk. He explains how he has edited and presented the manuscript, and the division of the story into units corresponding to the abbey’s hours of prayer. The narrator’s preface adds yet another dimension of “intertextuality” to the novel by establishing that the story readers are about to hear is a transcription of a translation, and it also introduces the idea of the instability of symbols and their meanings by suggesting that the text’s authenticity is uncertain.

Unnamed Narrator Quotes in The Name of the Rose

The The Name of the Rose quotes below are all either spoken by Unnamed Narrator or refer to Unnamed Narrator. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Mariner Books edition of The Name of the Rose published in 2014.
"Naturally, A Manuscript" and Prologue Quotes

I concluded that Adso’s memoirs appropriately share the nature of the events he narrates: shrouded in many, shadowy mysteries, beginning with the identity of the author and ending with the abbey’s location, about which Adso is stubbornly, scrupulously silent.

Related Characters: Unnamed Narrator (speaker), Adso of Melk
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:
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On sober reflection, I find few reasons for publishing my Italian version of an obscure, neo-Gothic French version of a seventeenth-century Latin edition of a work written in Latin by a German monk toward the end of the fourteenth century.

Related Characters: Unnamed Narrator (speaker), Adso of Melk
Related Symbols: The Fragments of the Library
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:
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Unnamed Narrator Character Timeline in The Name of the Rose

The timeline below shows where the character Unnamed Narrator appears in The Name of the Rose. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
"Naturally, A Manuscript" and Prologue
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
In 1980, an unnamed narrator explains how he came across the “terrible story” written by Adso of Melk, a fourteenth-century... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
Because the narrator has no more luck finding the manuscript source of Vallet’s book, he wonders if it... (full context)
The Interpretation of Signs Theme Icon
Knowledge and Secrecy Theme Icon
 Although the narrator is “full of doubts” and is still not fully convinced of the text’s authenticity, he... (full context)