Umberto Eco Quotes

On this page you can find the TOP of Umberto Eco's best quotes! We hope you will find some sayings from Essayist Umberto Eco's in our collection, which will inspire you to new achievements! There are currently 368 quotes on this page collected since January 5, 1932! Share our collection of quotes with your friends on social media so that they can find something to inspire them!
  • The belief that time is a linear, directed sequence running from A to B is a modern illusion. In fact, it can also go from B to A, the effect producing the cause.

    Umberto Eco (2007). “Foucault's Pendulum”, p.210, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • 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.

  • Poetry is not a matter of feelings, it is a matter of language. It is language which creates feelings.

  • Stopgaps do belong to the internal economy of the form, since the Whole requires them, even if only in a subordinate position ... The stopgap Luigi Paryson's 'zeppa' accepts its own banality, because without the speed that the banal allows up, it would slow up a passage that is crucial for the outcome of the work and its interpretation.

  • It is obvious that the newspaper produces the opinion of the readers.

    Interview with Chris Wallace, November 2, 2015.
  • 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 (1995). “Name of the Rose”, p.49, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • But it has often happened that I have found the most seductive depictions of sin in the pages of those very men of incorruptible virtue who condemned their spell and their effects.

    Umberto Eco (1995). “Name of the Rose”, p.93, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • The wise man does not discriminate; he gathers all the shreds of light, from wherever they may come.

    Umberto Eco (2007). “Foucault's Pendulum”, p.184, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • They [the Templars] had read Avicenna, and they were not ignorant, like the Europeans. How could you live alongside a tolerant, mystical, libertine culture for two centuries without succumbing to its allure, particularly when you compared it to Western culture, which was crude, vulgar, barbaric, and Germanic?

    Umberto Eco (2007). “Foucault's Pendulum”, p.99, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • I have lost the freedom of not having an opinion.

  • Jacopo Belbo didnt understand that he had had his moment and that it would have to be enough for him, for all his life. Not recognizing it, he spent the rest of his days seeking something else, until he damned himself.

    Umberto Eco (1997). “Foucault's Pendulum”
  • What we honor as prudence in our elders is simply panic in action.

    Umberto Eco (2006). “The Island of the Day Before”, p.97, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • We are a pluralist civilisation because we allow mosques to be built in our countries, and we are not going to stop simply because Christian missionaries are thrown into prison in Kabul. If we did so, we too would become Taliban.

    "The roots of conflict" by Umberto Eco, October 13, 2001.
  • Yes, I know, it's not the truth, but in a great history little truths can be altered so that the greater truth emerges.

  • 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 (2001). “Foucault's Pendulum”, Random House
  • We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death.

    "We Like Lists Because We Don't Want to Die". Interview with Susanne Beyer and Lothar Gorris, November 11, 2009.
  • When all the archetypes burst out shamelessly, we plumb the depths of Homeric profundity. Two clichés make us laugh but a hundred clichés moves us because we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, celebrating a reunion. . . . Just as the extreme of pain meets sensual pleasure, and the extreme of perversion borders on mystical energy, so too the extreme of banality allows us to catch a glimpse of the Sublime.

  • Political satire is a serious thing. In democratic newspapers throughout the world there are daily cartoons that often are not even funny, as is the case especially in many English-language newspapers. Instead, they contain a political message, and the artist takes full responsibility.

    "Don't smile when you say that" by Umberto Eco, June 21, 2002.
  • 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 (2014). “The Name of the Rose”, p.511, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • A human best, which is very little. Its hard to accept the idea that there cannot be an order in the universe because it would offend the free will of God and His omnipotence. So the freedom of God is our condemnation, or at least the condemnation of our pride.

    Umberto Eco (2014). “The Name of the Rose”, p.528, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • 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: 'I'm a writer not a reader'" by Umberto Eco, May 22, 2011.
  • As an adolescent I wrote comic books, because I read lots of them, and fantasy novels set in Malaysia and Central Africa.

    "Umberto Eco, The Art of Fiction No. 197". Interview with Azam Zanganeh, 2008.
  • Nothing can shake my belief that this world is the fruit of a dark god whose shadow I extend.

    "The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana". Book by Umberto Eco, 2004.
  • 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.

  • There are more people than you think who want to have a challenging experience, in which they are obliged to reflect about the past.

  • What is life if not the shadow of a fleeting dream?

    Umberto Eco (2003). “Baudolino”, p.353, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • 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 (2007). “Foucault's Pendulum”, p.60, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • History is a blood-drenched enigma and the world an error.

    "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana". Book by Umberto Eco, 2006.
  • My grandfather had a particularly important influence on my life, even though I didn't visit him often, since he lived about three miles out of town and he died when I was six. He was remarkably curious about the world, and he read lots of books.

  • The postmodern reply to the modern consists of recognizing that the past, since it cannot really be destroyed, because its destruction leads to silence, must be revisited: but with irony, not innocently. I think of the postmodern attitude as that of a man who loves a very cultivated woman and knows he cannot say to her, I love you madly, because he knows that she knows (and that she knows that he knows) that these words have already been written by Barbara Cartland. Still, there is a solution. He can say, As Barbara Cartland would put it, I love you madly.

    Umberto Eco (1984). “Postscript to The name of the rose”, Harcourt
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  • We hope you have found the saying you were looking for in our collection! At the moment, we have collected 368 quotes from the Essayist Umberto Eco, starting from January 5, 1932! We periodically replenish our collection so that visitors of our website can always find inspirational quotes by authors from all over the world! Come back to us again!