Umberto Eco (1932 - 2016) was a novelist, literary critic, philosopher and university professor of Italian origin.
When his medieval themed novel The name of the rose appeared in 1980, Eco became an international literary star. He has explored the connections between philosophy, fantasy and reality in other bestselling novels that received a mixed critical reception, including Foucault's pendulum (1988), The island of the previous day (1994), Baudolino (2000) and Prague cemetery (2010).
Eco also wrote academic texts, children's books and essays. He was the founder of the Department of Media Studies of the University of the Republic of San Marino, president of the Graduate School for the Study of the Humanities of the University of Bologna, a member of the Accademia dei Lincei, and an honorary fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford He died in 2016 because of pancreatic cancer.
Today we bring you some of his best quotes, don't miss them!
Famous quotes from Umberto Eco
Trying to understand the other means destroying the surrounding clichés, without denying or erasing their alterity.
The true hero is always a hero by mistake; He dreams of being an honest coward like everyone else.
We are formed by small traces of wisdom.
Any fact becomes important when connected to another.
I always assume that a good book is smarter than its author. You can say things that the writer does not know.
To survive, you must tell stories.
If you interact with things in your life, everything changes constantly. And if nothing changes, you are an idiot.
Not all truths are for all ears.
What is life but the shadow of a fleeting dream?
I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that becomes terrible because of our crazy attempt to interpret it as if it had an underlying truth.
I don't see the grace of having 80 million people online if all they are doing in the end is talking with ghosts in the suburbs.
We are always remaking history. Our memory is always an interpretative reconstruction of the past, so is the perspective.
When you are on the dance floor, there is nothing to do but dance.
When your true enemies are too strong, you must choose weaker enemies.
Our life is full of empty spaces.
All blogs, Facebook, Twitter are made by people who want to show their own private affairs at the price of making fakes, to try to appear as they are not, to build another personality, which is a true loss of identity.
Nothing gives a fearful man more courage than the fear of another.
When men stop believing in God, it's not that they don't believe in anything: they believe in everything.
Love is wiser than wisdom.
Sometimes you say things with a smile with the precise intention of making it clear that you are not serious and just kidding. If I greet a friend with a smile and say 'How are you, old scoundrel?' clearly, I don't mean it is a scoundrel.
We were smart enough to turn a laundry list into poetry.
We live for books, a sweet mission in this world dominated by disorder and decay.
Nothing is more harmful to creativity than the fury of inspiration.
Creativity can only be anarchic, capitalist, Darwinian.
How does a person feel when he looks at the sky? He thinks he doesn't have enough languages to describe what he sees. However, people have never stopped describing heaven, simply listing what they see.
People are tired of simple things, they want to be challenged.
I don't know, maybe we're always looking for the right place, maybe we have it within reach, but we don't recognize it. Maybe to recognize it, we have to believe in it.
Due to lies, we can produce and invent a possible world.
The absence is to love as the wind is to ignite: extinguish the small flame, fan the big one.
Reality better than a dream: if something is real, then it is real and you are not to blame.
If you want to use television to teach someone, you must first teach how to use television.
The computer is not an intelligent machine that helps stupid people, in fact, it is a stupid machine that works only in the hands of intelligent people.
I don't miss my youth. I'm glad I had one, but I wouldn't like to start over.
A dream is a writing, and many writings are nothing more than a dream.
Internet gives us everything and forces us to filter it not by the functioning of culture, but with our own brain. This runs the risk of creating six billion separate encyclopedias, which would avoid any common understanding.
I lacked the courage to investigate the weaknesses of the wicked, because I have discovered that they are the same as the weaknesses of the saints.
Never affirm, always allude: allusions are made to test the spirit and probe the heart.
I love the smell of book ink in the morning.
It is obvious that the newspaper produces the opinion of the readers.
Memory is a provisional resource for human beings, for whom time flies and what is past is past.
The comic is the perception of the opposite; Humor is the feeling of that.
We have a limit, a very daunting and humiliating limit: death. That is why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and therefore have no end. It is a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don't want to die.
Dreaming during the day is like the sin of the flesh; The more you have, the more you want.
Maybe I am not as wise as I like to think I am.
When the poet is in love, he is unable to write poetry about love. He has to write when he remembers that he was in love.
I have lost the freedom of not having an opinion.
It is impossible to change God's people without reinstating the marginalized.
Media populism means appealing to people directly through the media. A politician who can dominate the media can shape political affairs outside parliament and even eliminate parliament mediation.
If someone writes a book and does not care about the survival of that book, he is a jerk.
It is necessary to meditate early and often on the art of dying, to be able to do it correctly only once.
Beauty is boring because it is predictable.
I believe that what we become depends on what our parents teach us in strange moments, when they are not trying to teach us. We are formed by small traces of wisdom.
Sometimes it is difficult to understand the difference between identification with their own roots, understanding people with other roots and judging what is good or bad.
The more things you know, or pretend to know, the more powerful you are. It doesn't matter if things are true. What counts, remember, is to possess a secret.
How not to fall on your knees before the altar of certainty?
Originality and creativity are nothing more than the result of the intelligent handling of combinations. Creative genius combines more quickly, and with a greater critical sense of what is thrown and what is saved, the same material that the failed genius has to work with.
All of ideals and no ideas.
I have always said that I learned the English I know through two sources: Marvel Comics and Finnegans Wake.
A secret is powerful when it is empty.
I suspect there is no serious scholar who does not like to watch television. Only I am the only one who confesses.
I consider that adult life is always the continuous recovery of childhood.
Translation is the art of failure.
There are more people than you think they want to have a challenging experience, in which they are forced to reflect on the past.
The story is a blood-soaked puzzle and the world a mistake.
For the enemy to be recognized and feared, he must be at home or at his door.
There are books that are for the public and books that make their own audience.
I enjoyed your article, but preferred mine.
Since I became a novelist, I discovered that I am partial. Or I think a new novel is worse than mine and I don't like it, or I suspect it's better than my novels and I don't like it.
The truth is an anagram of an anagram.
We have a limit, a very daunting one, a humiliating limit: death.
The function of memory is not only to preserve, but also to throw away. If you remembered all of your entire life, you would be sick.
Don't close my lips by opening yours.
You always want someone to hate to feel justified in your own misery. Hate is the true primary passion.
There is nothing better than imagining other worlds to forget how painful the world we live in is.
How beautiful was the spectacle of nature not yet touched by the perverse wisdom of man!
If you want to use television to teach someone, you must first teach them how to use television.
True learning must not be satisfied with ideas, which are, in fact, signs, but must discover things in their individual truth.
Today political events are canceled unless they are on television.
Poetry is not a matter of feelings, it is a matter of language. It is language that creates the feelings.
One can be a great poet and be politically stupid.
Libraries have always been a way for the humanities to preserve their collective wisdom.
Books are not made to be believed, but to be submitted to questions. When we consider a book, we should not ask ourselves what it says but what it means ...
Each of us is sometimes a cretin, a fool, a stupid or a madman. A normal person is just a reasonable combination of these components, these four ideal types.
Not long ago, if you wanted to take political power in a country, you simply had to control the army and the police. Today, only in the most backward countries fascist generals, when carrying out a coup d'etat, still use tanks. If a country has reached a high degree of industrialization, the whole scene changes ... Today a country belongs to the person who controls communications.
I think a book should be judged 10 years later, after reading it and rereading it.
Wisdom is not destroying idols, but never creating them.
"So, why do you want to know?" "Because learning is not only about knowing what we should or can do, but also knowing what we could do and maybe we shouldn't do."
Every great thinker is the fool of another person.
True love wants the good of the beloved.
It is psychologically very difficult to go through life without the justification and hope provided by religion.
The Enlightenment, the age of reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity.
The book is like the spoon, the scissors, the hammer, the wheel. Once invented, it cannot be improved. You can't make a spoon that is better than a spoon ...
The only truth is to learn to free ourselves from the crazy passion for the truth.
All conspiracy theories were always a way of escaping our responsibilities. It is a very important type of social disease for which we avoid recognizing reality as it is and avoid our responsibilities.
Today, not going on television is a sign of elegance.
You may be obsessed with regret all your life, not because you have chosen something wrong: you can always regret it, atone for it: but because you have never had the opportunity to show yourself that you would have chosen the right thing.
Writing does not necessarily mean putting words on a piece of paper. You can write a chapter while you walk or eat.
As an academic, I am interested in the philosophy of language, semiotics, call it what you want, and one of the main characteristics of human language is the possibility of lying.
I love cats. They are of the few creatures that do not let themselves be exploited by their owners.
What is love? There is nothing in the world, neither man, nor demon, nor anything that I consider as suspicious as love, because it penetrates more into the soul than anything else.
I suspect, I always suspect.
Since there are seven billion people living on this earth, there is a consistent amount of morons or idiots, that's fine. Previously, these people could express themselves only with their friends or at the bar after two or three drinks of something, and they said nonsense, and people laughed. Now they have the possibility to appear on the Internet. And so, on the Internet, along with the messages of many interesting and important people, we have a lot of idiots.