All Time Famous Umberto Eco Quotes

Umberto Eco Quotes

Umberto Eco (1932-2016), an Italian novelist, semiotician, and philosopher, gained global recognition for his diverse contributions to literature and academia. His renowned novel, “The Name of the Rose” (1980), melds historical mystery with theology and semiotics in a medieval monastery setting. Eco, a prominent semiotics scholar, authored influential academic works such as “A Theory of Semiotics” (1976). Known for his erudition and humor, he also wrote engaging essays on various subjects, found in collections like “Travels in Hyperreality” (1986). Eco’s versatility extended from fiction to intellectual exploration, leaving a profound impact on both popular and scholarly spheres. His death on February 19, 2016, marked the end of a remarkable career, leaving behind a legacy of thought-provoking and multidisciplinary works.

Umberto Eco Quotes

1. “We live for books.”
— Umberto Eco

2. “To survive, you must tell stories.”
— Umberto Eco

3. “Translation is the art of failure.”
— Umberto Eco

4. “Love is wiser than wisdom.”
— Umberto Eco

5. “As the man said, for every complex problem there’s a simple solution, and it’s wrong.”
— Umberto Eco

6. “A great problem of the internet is how to filter information, how to discard what is not relevant or what is silly and to keep only the important information.”
— Umberto Eco

7. “What is life if not the shadow of a fleeting dream?”
— Umberto Eco

8. “I always assume that a good book is more intelligent than its author. It can say things that the writer is not aware of.”
— Umberto Eco

9. “I write what I write.”
— Umberto Eco

10. “Beauty is boring because it is predictable.”
— Umberto Eco

11. “Someone said that patriotism is the last refuge of cowards; those without moral principles usually wrap a flag around themselves, and those bastards always talk about the purity of race.”
— Umberto Eco

12. “Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community… but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It’s the invasion of the idiots.”
— Umberto Eco

13. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

14. “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

15. “When your true enemies are too strong, you have to choose weaker enemies.”
— Umberto Eco

16. “The good of a book lies in its being read.”
— Umberto Eco

17. “The person who doesn’t read lives only one life. The reader lives 5,000. Reading is immortality backward.”
— Umberto Eco

18. “I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
— Umberto Eco

19. “I felt no passion, no jealousy, no nostalgia. I was hollow, clear-headed, clean, and as emotionless as an aluminum pot.”
— Umberto Eco

20. “There are four kinds of people in this world: cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics.”
— Umberto Eco

21. “There are four types: the cretin, the imbecile, the stupid and the mad. Normality is a balanced mixture of all four.”
— Umberto Eco

22. “Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn’t ask ourselves what it says but what it means…”
— Umberto Eco

23. “Listening doesn’t mean trying to understand. Anything, however trifling, may be of use one day. What matters is to know something that others don’t know you know.”
— Umberto Eco

24. “Absence is to love as wind is to fire: it extinguishes the little flame, it fans the big.”
— Umberto Eco

25. “If you want to use television to teach somebody, you must first teach them how to use television.”
— Umberto Eco

26. “National identity is the last bastion of the dispossessed. But the meaning of identity is now based on hatred, on hatred for those who are not the same.”
— Umberto Eco

27. “Any fact becomes important when it’s connected to another.”
— Umberto Eco

28. “Never affirm, always allude: allusions are made to test the spirit and probe the heart.”
— Umberto Eco

29. “The truth is an anagram of an anagram.”
— Umberto Eco

30. “But laughter is weakness, corruption, the foolishness of our flesh.”
— Umberto Eco

31. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

32. “Hypotyposis is the rhetorical effect by which words succeed in rendering a visual scene.”
— Umberto Eco

33. “I don’t know, maybe we’re always looking for the right place, maybe it’s within reach, but we don’t recognize it. Maybe to recognize it, we have to believe in it.”
— Umberto Eco

34. “The light in her eyes was beyond description, yet it did not instill improper thoughts: it inspired a love tempered by awe, purifying the hearts it inflamed.”
— Umberto Eco

35. “The step between ecstatic vision and sinful frenzy is all too brief.”
— Umberto Eco

36. “A library’s ideal function is to be a little bit like a bouquiniste’s stall, a place for trouvailles.”
— Umberto Eco

37. “The problem with the Internet is that it gives you everything – reliable material and crazy material. So the problem becomes, how do you discriminate?”
— Umberto Eco

38. “When men stop believing in God, it isn’t that they then believe in nothing: they believe in everything.”
— Umberto Eco

39. “The wise man does not discriminate; he gathers all the shreds of light, from wherever they may come…”
— Umberto Eco

40. “Books always speak of other books.”
— Umberto Eco

41. “Not that the incredulous person doesn’t believe in anything. It’s just that he doesn’t believe in everything.”
— Umberto Eco

42. “A secret is powerful when it is empty.”
— Umberto Eco

43. “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

44. “I write stories about conspiracies and paranoid characters while I am, in fact, a very skeptical person.”
— Umberto Eco

45. “The Internet gives us everything and forces us to filter it not by the workings of culture, but with our own brains. This risks creating six billion separate encyclopedias, which would prevent any common understanding whatsoever.”
— Umberto Eco

46. “I felt like poisoning a monk.”
— Umberto Eco

47. “We were clever enough to turn a laundry list into poetry.”
— Umberto Eco

48. “A secret is powerful when it is empty. People often mention the “Masonic secret.” What on earth is the Masonic secret? No one can tell. As long as it remains empty it can be filled up with every possible notion, and it has power.”
— Umberto Eco

49. “Ma gavte la nata.”
— Umberto Eco

50. “A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection – not an invitation for hypnosis.”
— Umberto Eco

51. “We are always remaking history. Our memory is always an interpretive reconstruction of the past, so is perspective.”
— Umberto Eco

52. “A dream is a scripture, and many scriptures are nothing but dreams.”
— Umberto Eco

53. “We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death. That’s why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and, therefore, no end. It’s a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don’t want to die.”
— Umberto Eco

54. “To read a paper book is another experience: you can do it on a ship, on the branch of a tree, on your bed, even if there is a blackout.”
— Umberto Eco

55. “The Devil is not the Prince of Matter; the Devil is the arrogance of the spirit, faith without smile, truth that is never seized by doubt. The Devil is grim because he knows where he is going, and, in moving, he always returns whence he came.”
— Umberto Eco

56. “We like lists because we don’t want to die.”
— Umberto Eco

57. “You are always born under the wrong sign, and to live in this world properly you have to rewrite your own horoscope day by day.”
— Umberto Eco

58. “The only truth lies in learning to free ourselves from insane passion for the truth.”
— Umberto Eco

59. “I was in a maze. No matter which way I turned, it was the wrong way.”
— Umberto Eco

60. “A novel is a machine for generating interpretations.”
— Umberto Eco

61. “In the Middle Ages, cathedrals and convents burned like tinder; imagining a medieval story without a fire is like imagining a World War II movie in the Pacific without a fighter plane shot down in flames.”
— Umberto Eco

62. “How beautiful was the spectacle of nature not yet touched by the often perverse wisdom of man!”
— Umberto Eco

63. “A narrator should not supply interpretations of his work; otherwise he would have not written a novel, which is a machine for generating interpretations.”
— Umberto Eco

64. “For the enemy to be recognized and feared, he has to be in your home or on your doorstep.”
— Umberto Eco

65. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

66. “Every great thinker is someone else’s moron.”
— Umberto Eco

67. “Narrativity presumes a special taste for plot. And this taste for plot was always very present in the Anglo-Saxon countries and that explains their high quality of detective novels.”
— Umberto Eco

68. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

69. “It is a myth of publishers that people want to read easy things.”
— Umberto Eco

70. “It is necessary to meditate early, and often, on the art of dying to succeed later in doing it properly just once.”
— Umberto Eco

71. “It is sometimes hard to grasp the difference between identifying with one’s own roots, understanding people with other roots, and judging what is good or bad.”
— Umberto Eco

72. “A mystic is a hysteric who has met her confessor before her doctor.”
— Umberto Eco

73. “When we traded the results of our fantasies, it seemed to us-and rightly-that we had proceeded by unwarranted associations, by shortcuts so extraordinary that, if anyone had accused us of really believing them, we would have been ashamed.”
— Umberto Eco

74. “I wrote a novel because I had a yen to do it. I believe this is sufficient reason to set out to tell a story.”
— Umberto Eco

75. “Being a professional philosopher is, I would say, feeling natural to think about small and great problems. It is the only pleasure.”
— Umberto Eco

76. “All poets write bad poetry. Bad poets publish them, good poets burn them.”
— Umberto Eco

77. “Ugliness is more inventive than beauty. Beauty always follows certain camps. I think it’s more amusing – ugliness – than beauty.”
— Umberto Eco

78. “Two very beautiful naked girls are crouched facing each other. They touch each other sensually, they kiss each other’s breasts lightly, with the tip of the tongue.”
— Umberto Eco

79. “Beauty has never been absolute and immutable but has taken on different aspects depending on the historical period and the country.”
— Umberto Eco

80. “The beauty of the universe consists not only of unity in variety but also of variety in unity.”
— Umberto Eco

81. “Yesterday’s rose endures in its name, we hold empty names.”
— Umberto Eco

82. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

83. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity.”
— Umberto Eco

84. “Nothing can shake my belief that this world is the fruit of a dark god whose shadow I extend.”
— Umberto Eco

85. “The more elusive and ambiguous a symbol is, the more it gains significance and power.”
— Umberto Eco

86. “Everything is repeated, in a circle. History is a master because it teaches us that it doesn’t exist. It’s the permutations that matter.”
— Umberto Eco

87. “Nothing gives a fearful man more courage than another’s fear.”
— Umberto Eco

88. “Where else? I belong to a lost generation and am comfortable only in the company of others who are lost and lonely.”
— Umberto Eco

89. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

90. “There are two kinds of friendship: one is genuine affection, the other is inability to refuse.”
— Umberto Eco

91. “How clear everything becomes when you look from the darkness of a dungeon.”
— Umberto Eco

92. “Media populism means appealing to people directly through media. A politician who can master the media can shape political affairs outside of parliament and even eliminate the mediation of parliament.”
— Umberto Eco

93. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

94. “Nothing is more fleeting than external form, which withers and alters like the flowers of the field at the appearance of autumn.”
— Umberto Eco

95. “I do not remember where I read that there are two kinds of poets: the good poets, who at a certain point destroy their bad poems and go off to run guns in Africa, and the bad poets, who publish theirs and keep writing more until they die.”
— Umberto Eco

96. “Rem tene, verba sequentur: grasp the subject, and the words will follow. This, I believe, is the opposite of what happens with poetry, which is more a case of verba tene, res sequenter: grasp the words, and the subject will follow.”
— Umberto Eco

97. “If photography is to be likened to perception, this is not because the former is a natural process but because the latter is also coded.”
— Umberto Eco

98. “Each of us is sometimes a cretin, a fool, a moron, or a lunatic. A normal person is just a reasonable mix of these components, these four ideal types.”
— Umberto Eco

99. “Poetry is not a matter of feelings, it is a matter of language. It is language which creates feelings.”
— Umberto Eco

100. “The United States needed a civil war to unite properly.”
— Umberto Eco

101. “Whoever reflects on four things I would be better if he were never born: that which is above, that which is below, that which is before, that which is after.”
— Umberto Eco

102. “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

103. “By means of the sign, man frees himself from the here and now for abstraction.”
— Umberto Eco

104. “When the poet is in love, he is incapable of writing poetry on love. He has to write when he remembers that he was in love.”
— Umberto Eco

105. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

106. “The Antichrist can be born from piety itself, from excessive love of God or of the truth, as the heretic is born from the saint and the possessed from the seer. Fear prophets, Adso, 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

107. “Monsters exist because they are part of the divine plan, and in the horrible features of those same monsters the power of the creator is revealed.”
— Umberto Eco

108. “Show not what has been done, but what can be. How beautiful the world would be if there were a procedure for moving through labyrinths.”
— Umberto Eco

109. “They keep saying that their kingdom is not of this world, then take everything they can lay their hands on. Civilization will never reach perfection until the last stone of the last church has fallen on the last priest, and the earth is rid of that evil lot.”
— Umberto Eco

110. “Fools are in great demand, especially on social occasions. They embarrass everyone but provide material for conversation. In their positive form, they become diplomats.”
— Umberto Eco

111. “People are never so completely and enthusiastically evil as when they act out of religious conviction.”
— Umberto Eco

112. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

113. “Machines, he said, are an effect of art, which is nature’s ape, and they reproduce not its forms but the operation itself.”
— Umberto Eco

114. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

115. “He had prepared his death much earlier, in his imagination, unaware that his imagination, more creative than he, was planning the reality of that death.”
— Umberto Eco

116. “An illiterate person who dies, let us say at my age, has lived one life, whereas I have lived the lives of Napoleon, Caesar, d’Artagnan. So I always encourage young people to read books, because it’s an ideal way to develop a great memory and a ravenous multiple personality. And then at the end of your life you have lived countless lives, which is a fabulous privilege.”
— Umberto Eco

117. “As Clark Kent, I take care of misunderstood young geniuses; as Superman I punish justly misunderstood old geniuses. I.”
— Umberto Eco

118. “Libraries can take the place of God.”
— Umberto Eco

119. “Therefore you don’t have a single answer to your questions?” “Adso, if I did I would teach theology in Paris.” “In Paris do they always have the true answer?” “Never,” William said, “but they are very sure of their errors.”
— Umberto Eco

120. “I know nothing. There is nothing that I know. But the heart senses certain things. Let your heart speak, question faces, do not listen to tongues.”
— Umberto Eco

121. “At a certain historical moment, some people found the suspicion that the sun did not revolve around the earth just as crazy and deplorable as the suspicion that the universe does not exist. So we would be wise to keep an open, fresh mind against the moment when the community of scientists decrees that the idea of the universe has been an illusion, just like the flat earth and the Rosicrucians. After all, the cultivated person’s first duty is to be always prepared to rewrite the encyclopedia.”
— Umberto Eco

122. “I would define the poetic effect as the capacity that a text displays for continuing to generate different readings, without ever being completely consumed.”
— Umberto Eco

123. “American coffee can be a pale solution served at a temperature of 100oC.”
— Umberto Eco

124. “Yes, I know, it’s not the truth, but in a great history little truths can be altered so that the greater truth emerges.”
— Umberto Eco

125. “Books are menaced by books. Any excess of information produces silence.”
— Umberto Eco

126. “All of us were slowly losing that intellectual light that allows you always to tell the similar from the identical, the metaphorical from the real.”
— Umberto Eco

127. “Whenever a poet or preacher, chief or wizard spouts gibberish, the human race spends centuries deciphering the message.”
— Umberto Eco

128. “Conspiracies do exist. Probably at 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.”
— Umberto Eco

129. “Thus God knows the world, because He conceived it in His mind, as if from the outside, before it was created, and we do not know its rule, because we live inside it, having found it already made.”
— Umberto Eco

130. “We are never racist against somebody who is very far away. I don’t know of any racism against the Eskimos. To have a racist feeling, there must be another who is slightly different from us – but is living close to us.”
— Umberto Eco

131. “The author should die once he has finished writing. So as not to trouble the path of the text.”
— Umberto Eco

132. “That day, I began to be incredulous. Or, rather, I regretted having been credulous. I regretted having allowed myself to be borne away by a passion of the mind. Such is credulity.”
— Umberto Eco

133. “One can be a great poet and be politically stupid.”
— Umberto Eco

134. “What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible.”
— Umberto Eco

135. “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

136. “Homer’s work hits again and again on the topos of the inexpressible. People will always do that.”
— Umberto Eco

137. “My collection of rare books concerns only books that don’t tell the truth.”
— Umberto Eco

138. “The ideology of this America wants to establish reassurance through Imitation. But profit defeats ideology because the consumers want to be thrilled not only by the guarantee of the Good but also by the shudder of the Bad.”
— Umberto Eco

139. “I think a book should be judged 10 years later, after reading and re-reading it.”
— Umberto Eco

140. “The French, the Italians, the Germans, the Spanish, and the English have spent centuries killing each other.”
— Umberto Eco

141. “The only truths that are useful are instruments to be thrown away.”
— Umberto Eco

142. “Is it worth it to be born if you cannot remember it later? And, technically speaking, had I ever been born? Other people, of course, said that I was. As far as I know, I was born in late April, at sixty years of age, in a hospital room.”
— Umberto Eco

143. “I started to work in television for three or four years, in 1954. There was one channel of television, black and white. But it could be entertaining and educational. During the evening they showed important plays, opera or Shakespeare’s tragedies.”
— Umberto Eco

144. “Memory is a stopgap for humans, for whom time flies and what is passed is passed.”
— Umberto Eco

145. “Simple mechanisms do not love.”
— Umberto Eco

146. “In the United States there’s a Puritan ethic and a mythology of success. He who is successful is good. In Latin countries, in Catholic countries, a successful person is a sinner.”
— Umberto Eco

147. “The followers must feel besieged.”
— Umberto Eco

148. “It is clear that when you write a story that takes place in the past, you try to show what really happened in those times. But you are always moved by the suspicion that you are also showing something about our contemporary world.”
— Umberto Eco

149. “The poets did not win; the philosophers surrendered.”
— Umberto Eco

150. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

151. “Every time that I write a novel I am convinced for at least two years that it is the last one, because a novel is like a child. It takes two years after its birth. You have to take care of it. It starts walking, and then speaking.”
— Umberto Eco

152. “My poetry had the same functional origin and the same formal configuration as teenage acne.”
— Umberto Eco

153. “The Rosicrucians were everywhere, aided by the fact that they didn’t exist.”
— Umberto Eco

154. “It is psychologically very hard to go through life without the justification, and the hope, provided by religion.”
— Umberto Eco

155. “The truth is a young maiden as modest as she is beautiful, and therefore she is always seen cloaked.”
— Umberto Eco

156. “In other words, although I don’t like them, we do need noble-spirited souls.”
— Umberto Eco

157. “To establish what is true is very difficult. Frequently it is easier to establish what is false. And, passing through the false, it’s possible to understand something about truth.”
— Umberto Eco

158. “Man’s principle trait is a readiness to believe anything. Otherwise, how could the Church have survived for almost two thousand years in the absence of universal gullibility?”
— Umberto Eco

159. “Two cliches make us laugh. A hundred cliches move us. For we sense dimly that the cliches are talking among themselves, and celebrating a reunion.”
— Umberto Eco

160. “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

161. “I am a professor who writes novels on Sundays.”
— Umberto Eco

162. “How does a person feel when looking at the sky? He thinks that he doesn’t have enough tongues to describe what he sees. Nevertheless, people have never stopped describing the sky, simply listing what they see.”
— Umberto Eco

163. “Omnia mundi creatura quasi liber et pictura nobis est in speculum.”
— Umberto Eco

164. “The Templars realized that the secret lay not only in possessing the global map of the currents but also in knowing the critical point, the Omphalos, the Umbilicus Telluris, the Navel of the World, the Source of Command.”
— Umberto Eco

165. “If the eye could see the demons that people the universe, existence would be impossible. – Talmud, Berakhot, 6.”
— Umberto Eco

166. “What does the philosopher say? Odi ergo sum. I hate therefore I am.”
— Umberto Eco

167. “I am not on Facebook and on Twitter because the purpose of my life is to avoid messages. I receive too many messages from the world, and so I try to avoid that.”
— Umberto Eco

168. “But the meaning of identity is now based on hatred, on hatred for those who are not the same. Hatred has to be cultivated as a civic passion. The enemy is the friend of the people. You always want someone to hate in order to feel justified in your own misery.”
— Umberto Eco

169. “Having reached the end of my poor sinner’s life, my hair now white, I grow old as the world does, waiting to be lost in the bottomless pit of silent and deserted divinity, sharing in the light of angelic intelligences;.”
— Umberto Eco

170. “In this universe of ours, with its wealth of errors and legends, historical data and false information, one absolute truth is the fact that Superman is Clark Kent. All the rest is always open to debate.”
— Umberto Eco

171. “Is it possible to say “It was a beautiful morning at the end of November” without feeling like Snoopy?”
— Umberto Eco

172. “The “thesis neurosis” has begun: the student abandons the thesis, returns to it, feels unfulfilled, loses focus, and uses his thesis as an alibi to avoid other challenges in his life that he is too cowardly to address. This student will never graduate.”
— Umberto Eco

173. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

174. “The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.”
— Umberto Eco

175. “Hitler’s one genuine obsession was the underground currents. He believed in the theory of the hollow earth, Hohlweltlehre.”
— Umberto Eco

176. “I have a good memory. But I would be interested in memory even if I had a bad memory, because I believe that memory is our soul. If we lose our memory completely, we are without a soul.”
— Umberto Eco

177. “If you interact with things in your life, everything is constantly changing. And if nothing changes, you’re an idiot.”
— Umberto Eco

178. “Semiotics is in principle the discipline studying everything which can be used in order to lie. If something cannot be used to tell a lie, conversely it cannot be used to tell the truth: it cannot be used “to tell” at all.”
— Umberto Eco

179. “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

180. “It’s not the news that makes the newspaper, but the newspaper that makes the news.”
— Umberto Eco

181. “There are more books in the world than hours in which to read them. We are thus deeply influenced by books we haven’t read, that we haven’t had the time to read.”
— Umberto Eco

182. “The function of memory is not only to preserve but also to throw away. If you remembered everything from your entire life, you would be sick.”
— Umberto Eco

183. “A sure sign of a lunatic is that sooner or later, he brings up the Templars.”
— Umberto Eco

184. “We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
— Umberto Eco

185. “During the day you will approach the frog several times and will utter words of worship. And you will ask it to work the miracles you wish… Meanwhile, you will cut a cross on which to sacrifice it. – From a ritual of Aleister Crowley.”
— Umberto Eco

186. “I have lost the freedom of not having an opinion.”
— Umberto Eco

187. “If a shepherd errs, he must be isolated from other shepherds, but woe unto us if the sheep begin to distrust shepherds.”
Umberto Eco

188. “If two things don’t fit, but you believe both of them, thinking that somewhere, hidden, there must be a third thing that connects them, that’s credulity.”
— Umberto Eco

189. “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

190. “Nebulat ergo cogito.”
— Umberto Eco

191. “The visitor enters and says, “What a lot of books! Have you read them all?”… The best answer is the one always used by Roberto Leydi: “And more, dear sir, many more,” which freezes the adversary and plunges him into a state of awed admiration. But I find it merciless and angst-generating. Now I have fallen back on the riposte: “No, these are the ones I have to read by the end of the month. I keep the others in my office.”
— Umberto Eco

192. “For architecture, among all the arts, is the one that most boldly tries to reproduce in its rhythm the order of the universe, which the ancients called “kosmos,” that is to say ornate, since it is like a great animal on whom there shine the perfection and the proportion of all its members. And praised be our Creator who, as the Scriptures say, has decreed all things in number, weight, and measure.”
— Umberto Eco

193. “I developed a passion for the Middle Ages the same way some people develop a passion for coconuts.”
— Umberto Eco

194. “This is the power of the imagination, which, combining the memory of gold with that of the mountain, can compose the idea of a golden mountain.”
— Umberto Eco

195. “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.”
— Umberto Eco

196. “When you are on the dancefloor, there is nothing to do but dance.”
— Umberto Eco

197. “The most interesting letters I received about ‘The Name of the Rose’ were from people in the Midwest that maybe didn’t understand exactly, but wanted to understand more and who were excited by this picture of a world which was not their own.”
— Umberto Eco

198. “The comic is the perception of the opposite; humor is the feeling of it.”
— Umberto Eco

199. “Culture isn’t knowing when Napoleon died. Culture means knowing how I can find out in two minutes.”
— Umberto Eco

200. “True learning must not be content with ideas, which are, in fact, signs, but must discover things in their individual truth.”
— Umberto Eco

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