Umberto Eco Quotes
171 Sourced Quotes
The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else. If it had been possible he would have settled the matter otherwise, and without bloodshed. He doesn't boast of his own death or of others'. But he does not repent. He suffers and keeps his mouth shut; if anything, others then exploit him, making him a myth, while he, the man worthy of esteem, was only a poor creature who reacted with dignity and courage in an event bigger than he was.
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. In two months I will be eighty years old. Probably I will not write another novel, and so mankind will be safe.
To read fiction means to play a game by which we give sense to the immensity of things that happened, are happening, or will happen in the actual world. By reading narrative, we escape the anxiety that attacks us when we try to say something true about the world. This is the consoling function of narrative — the reason people tell stories, and have told stories from the beginning of time.
To escape the power of the unknown, to prove to yourself that you don't believe in it, you accept its spells. Like an avowed atheist who sees the Devil at night, you reason: He certainly doesn't exist; this is therefore an illusion, perhaps a result of indigestion. But the Devil is sure that he exists, and believes in his upside-down theology. What, then, will frighten him? You make the sign of the cross, and he vanishes in a puff of brimstone.