Umberto Eco Quotes
A book is a fragile creature, it suffers the wear of time, it fears rodents, the elements and clumsy hands. so the librarian protects the books not only against mankind but also against nature and devotes his life to this war with the forces of oblivion.
A dream is a scripture, and many scriptures are nothing but dreams.
A secret is powerful when it is empty.
A transposable aphorism is a malaise of the urge to be witty, or in other words, a maxim that is untroubled by the fact that the opposite of what it says is equally true so long as it appears to be funny.
After years of practice, I can walk into a bookstore and understand its layout in a few seconds. I can glance at the spine of a book and make a good guess at its content from a number of signs.
All the religious wars that have caused blood to be shed for centuries arise from passionate feelings and facile counter-positions, such as Us and Them, good and bad, white and black.
As a scholar I am interested in the philosophy of language, semiotics, call it what you want, and one of the main features of the human language is the possibility of lying.
As an adolescent I wrote comic books, because I read lots of them, and fantasy novels set in Malaysia and Central Africa.
At a certain moment, I decided to write a story. I had no more small children to tell them stories.
Beauty is boring because it is predictable.
Because of lies, we can produce and invent a possible world.
Berlusconi is a genius in communication. Otherwise, he would never have become so rich.
Better reality than a dream: if something is real, then it's real and you're not to blame.
But Italy is not an intellectual country. On the subway in Tokyo everybody reads. In Italy, they don't. Don't evaluate Italy from the fact that it produced Raphael and Michelangelo.
But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.
Captain Cook discovered Australia looking for the Terra Incognita. Christopher Columbus thought he was finding India but discovered America. History is full of events that happened because of an imaginary tale.
Certainly, light fiction exists and encompasses mysteries or second-class romance novels, books that are read on the beach, whose only aim is to entertain. These books are not concerned with style or creativity - instead they are successful because they are repetitive and follow a template that readers enjoy.
Conspiracies do exist. Probably in this moment in New York there is an economic group making a conspiracy in order to buy three banks. But if they succeed, they are immediately discovered.
Creativity can only be anarchic, capitalist, Darwinian.
Dan Brown is a character from 'Foucault's Pendulum!' I invented him. He shares my characters' fascinations - the world conspiracy of Rosicrucians, Masons, and Jesuits. The role of the Knights Templar. The hermetic secret. The principle that everything is connected. I suspect Dan Brown might not even exist.
Umberto Eco Profile
January 5, 1932
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