Popular Umberto Eco Quotes

Absence is to love as wind is to fire: it extinguishes the little flame; it fans the big.


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.


All poets write bad poetry. Bad poets publish them, good poets burn them.


Writing doesn’t mean necessarily putting words on a sheet of paper. You can write a chapter while walking or eating.


The thought that all experience will be lost at the moment of my death makes me feel pain and fear… What a waste, decades spent building up experience, only to throw it all away… We remedy this sadness by working. For example, by writing, painting, or building cities.


I discovered … that a novel has nothing to do with words in the first instance. Writing a novel is a cosmological matter, like the story told by Genesis (we all have to choose our role models, as Woody Allen puts it).


Given that there are seven billion people living on this earth, there is a consistent quantity of imbecile or idiot, okay. Previously, these people could express themselves only with their friends or at the bar after two or three glasses of something, and they said every silliness, and people laughed. Now they have the possibility to show up on the internet. And so, on the internet, along with the messages of a lot of interesting and important people – even the Pope is writing on Twitter – we have a great quantity of idiots.


If you want to become a man of letters and perhaps write some Histories one day, you must also lie and invent tales, otherwise your History would become monotonous. But you must act with restraint. The world condemns liars who do nothing but lie, even about the most trivial things, and it rewards poets, who lie only about the greatest things.


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.


You can be obsessed by remorse all your life, not because you chose the wrong thing- you can always repent, atone : but because you never had the chance to prove to yourself that you would have chosen the right thing.


The book is like the spoon, scissors, the hammer, the wheel. Once invented, it cannot be improved. You cannot make a spoon that is better than a spoon… The book has been thoroughly tested, and it’s very hard to see how it could be improved on for its current purposes.


We live for books.