Umberto Eco Quotes

If you interact with things in your life, everything is constantly changing. And if nothing changes, you’re an idiot.

When men stop believing in God, it isn’t that they then believe in nothing: they believe in everything.

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

There are four types: the cretin, the imbecile, the stupid and the mad. Normality is a balanced mixture of all four.

The wise man does not discriminate; he gathers all the shreds of light, from wherever they may come.

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.

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.

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

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.

Every great thinker is someone else’s moron.

To survive, you must tell stories.

For the enemy to be recognized and feared, he has to be in your home or on your doorstep.

Not long ago, if you wanted to seize political power in a country you had merely to control the army and the police. Today it is only in the most backward countries that fascist generals, in carrying out a coup d’├ętat, still use tanks. If a country has reached a high degree of industrialization the whole scene changes…. Today a country belongs to the person who controls communications.

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

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.

The real hero is always a hero by mistake.

Never affirm, always allude: allusions are made to test the spirit and probe the heart.

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.

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.

Love is wiser than wisdom.

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.

We are always remaking history. Our memory is always an interpretive reconstruction of the past, so is perspective.

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

Beauty is, in some way, boring. Even if its concept changes through the ages… a beautiful object must always follow certain rules. A beautiful nose shouldn’t be longer than that or shorter than that, on the contrary, an ugly nose can be as long as the one of Pinocchio, or as big as the trunk of an elephant, or like the beak of an eagle, and so ugliness is unpredictable, and offers an infinite range of possibility. Beauty is finite, ugliness is infinite like God.

A dream is a scripture, and many scriptures are nothing but dreams.