Umberto Eco is an Italian writer of fiction, essays, academic texts, and children's books, and certainly one of the finest authors of the twentieth century. A professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, Eco’s brilliant fiction is known for its playful use of language and symbols, its astonishing array of allusions and references, and clever use of puzzles and narrative inventions.
Let this list of 31 quotations by the Italian novelist Umberto Eco lead you to an inspirational day. Recharge yourself with motivational truth, book, love sayings, and satisfy your hunger for a better life.
What are the best Umberto Eco quotes?
We've made this hand-picked collection of quotes to show you what is Umberto Eco truly willing to say and leave for generations. Whether an inspirational quote or a motivational message about giving your best, we can all benefit from the wisdom, captured within these words.
Terrorism is a biological consequence of the multinationals, just as a day of fever is the reasonable price of an effective vaccine . . . The conflict is between great powers, not between demons and heroes. Unhappily, therefore, is the nation that finds the heroes underfoot, especially if they still think in religious terms and involve the population in their bloody ascent to an uninhabited paradise.
In the construction of Immortal Fame you need first of all a cosmic shamelessness.
And we, inhabitants of the great coral of the Cosmos, believe the atom (which still we cannot see) to be full matter, whereas, it too, like everything else, is but an embroidery of voids in the Void, and we give the name of being, dense and even eternal, to that dance of inconsistencies, that infinite extension that is identified with absolute Nothingness and that spins from its own non-being the illusion of everything.
Originality and creativity are nothing but the result of the wise management of combinations. The creative genius combines more rapidly, and with a greater critical sense of what gets tossed out and what gets saved, the same material that the failed genius has to work with.
The step between ecstatic vision and sinful frenzy is all too brief.
I write stories about conspiracies and paranoid characters while I am, in fact, a very skeptical person.
Perhaps the mission of those who love mankind is to make people laugh at the truth, to make truth laugh, because the only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth.
Books are menaced by books. Any excess of information produces silence.
My generation knew pretty well what happened 50 years before our birth.
Now I follow all the quiz programs because they are a paramount example of the span of memory of the young generation - they are able to remember everything that happened in their life but not before.
The pleasures of love are pains that become desirable, where sweetness and torment blend, and so love is voluntary insanity, infernal paradise, and celestial hell -- in short, harmony of opposite yearnings, sorrowful laughter, soft diamond.
The only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth.
He who laughs does not believe in what he laughs at, but neither does he hate it. Therefore, laughing at evil means not preparing oneself to combat it, and laughing at good means denying the power through which good is self-propagating.
We know that sensory phenomena are transcribed in the photographic emulsion in such a way that even if there is a causal link with the real phenomena, the graphic images can be considered as wholly arbitrary with respect to these phenomena.
Ugliness is more inventive than beauty.
Beauty always follows certain camps. I think it's more amusing - ugliness - than beauty.
Deciding what is being talked about is a kind of interpretive bet.
The photograph [of Che Guevara], for a civilization now accustomed to thinking in images, was not the description of a single event... it was an argument.
All the 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 such as they are not, to construct another personality, which is a veritable loss of identity.
I'm always fascinated by losers. Also, in my "Foucault's Pendulum," the main characters, who are in a way losers, they are more interesting than the winners.
There is a constant in the average American imagination and taste, for which the past must be preserved and celebrated in full-scale authentic copy; a philosophy of immortality as duplication. It dominates the relation with the self, with the past, not infrequently with the present, always with History and, even, with the European tradition.
There are no stories without meaning.
And I am one of those men who can find it even when others fail to see it. Afterwards the story becomes the book of the living, like a blaring trumpet that raises from the tomb those who have been dust for centuries....
Conspiracies and all the theories of conspiracy are a part of the canon of fakes. And I'm involved, in all of my writings, the theoretical ones as well as the novels, with the production of fakes.
If culture did not filter, it would be inane - as inane as the formless, boundless Internet is on its own. And if we all possessed the boundless knowledge of the Web, we would be idiots! Culture is an instrument for making a hierarchical system of intellectual labor.
A newspaper can follow the compulsions, the desires of the readers.
Take the English evening newspapers - they are following the readers' desires when they are interested only in the royal family gossip. But even the most objective, serious newspaper in the world designs the way in which the reader could or should think. That's unavoidable.
... luckily, Eden is soon populated. The ethical dimension begins when the other appears on the scene.
[In my writing] I know that I have made a caricature out of [others' academic] theories [but] I think that caricatures are frequently good portraits.
The more things you know, or pretend to know, the more powerful you are.
It doesn't matter if the things are true. What counts, remember, is to possess a secret.
I consider always the adult life to be the continuous retrieval of childhood.
You tell me these two were my parents, so now I know but it's a memory that you've given me. I'll remember the photo from now on, but not them.
The good of a book lies in its being read.
A book is made up of signs that speak of other signs, which in their turn speak of things. Without an eye to read them, a book contains signs that produce no concepts; therefore it is dumb.
You cannot escape one infinite, I told myself, by fleeing to another.
You cannot escape the revelation of the identical by taking refuge in the illusion of the multiple.
[I am fascinated by stupidity] because normal intelligence is boring.
Two plus two makes four - finished. You have no possibilities! Stupidity is infinite. Two plus two can make billions of different numbers.
To imagine secret societies and conspiracy is a way not to react to the social and political life. Because you say, "We don't know who they are. We cannot react without reasoning." So it is a way to keep people far from the political environment.
When one starts writing a book, especially a novel, even the humblest person in the world hopes to become Homer.
All the theories of conspiracy were always a way to escape our responsibilities.
It is a very important kind of social sickness by which we avoid recognizing reality such as it is and avoid our responsibilities.
Hoy no salir en televisión es un signo de elegancia.
Once upon a time there were mass media, and they were wicked, of course, and there was a guilty party. Then there were the virtuous voices that accused the criminals. And Art (ah, what luck!) offered alternatives, for those who were not prisoners to the mass media.
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.