Quotes by: Umberto Eco

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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.
Umberto Eco
Does the novel have to deepen the psychology of its heroes? Certainly the modern novel does, but the ancient legends did not do the same. Oedipus' psychology was deduced by Aeschylus or Freud, but the character is simply there, fixed in a pure and terribly disquieting state.
Umberto Eco
I love the secrecy of writing fiction. When I write a novel, I don't tell anybody what I'm doing. I'm living in my private world. And it's a great sensation.
Umberto Eco
The question of manuscript changes is very important for literary criticism, the psychology of creation and other aspects of the study of literature.
Umberto Eco
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.
Umberto Eco
We invented the car, and it made it easier for us to crash and die. If I gave a car to my grandfather, he would die in five minutes, while I have grown up slowly to accept speed.
Umberto Eco
Fear prophets and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them.
Umberto Eco
Sometimes you say things with a smile with the precise intention of making it clear that you are not being serious, and are only kidding. If I salute a friend with a smile and say, 'How are you, you old scoundrel!' clearly I don't really mean he's a scoundrel.
Umberto Eco
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
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.
Umberto Eco
If somebody writes a book and doesn't care for the survival of that book, he's an imbecile.
Umberto Eco
When someone has to intervene to defend the liberty of the press, that society is sick.
Umberto Eco
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.
Umberto Eco
I developed a passion for the Middle Ages the same way some people develop a passion for coconuts.
Umberto Eco
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.
Umberto Eco
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.
Umberto Eco
I have to admit that I only read 'War and Peace' when I was 40. But I knew the basics before then.
Umberto Eco
Poetry is not a matter of feelings, it is a matter of language. It is language which creates feelings.
Umberto Eco
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.
Umberto Eco
Berlusconi is a genius in communication. Otherwise, he would never have become so rich.
Umberto Eco
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