a commonplace book
Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn’t ask ourselves what it says but what it means.
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose (1980)
Hence the reason for literary theory and criticism, its active arm. And, for Eco, the reason for semiotics as a part of the process of mapping legitimate suspicion of what we see in front of us. As William of Baskerville is characterized before we even get a word of dialogue, he abides by a lingering suspicion of all appearances.