Umberto Eco - Day Quotes
7 Sourced Quotes
If you want to become a man of letters and perhaps write some Histories one day, you must also lie and invent tales, otherwise your History would become monotonous. But you must act with restraint. The world condemns liars who do nothing but lie, even about the most trivial things, and it rewards poets, who lie only about the greatest things.
The emperor of the Latins — who hasn't been a Latin himself since the days of Charlemagne — is the successor of the Roman emperors — the ones of Rome, I mean, not those of Constantinople. But to make sure he's emperor, he has to be crowned by the pope, because the law of Christ has swept away the false law, the law of liars. To be crowned by the pope, the emperor also has to be recognized by the cities of Italy, and each of them kind of goes his own way, so he has to be crowned king of Italy — provided, naturally, that the Teutonic princes have elected him. Is that clear?
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'état, still use tanks. If a country has reached a high degree of industrialization the whole scene changes. The day after the fall of Khrushchev, the editors of Pravda, Izvestiia, the heads of the radio and television were replaced; the army wasn't called out. Today a country belongs to the person who controls communications.
There must be a connection between the lust for power and impotentia coeundi. I liked Marx, I was sure that he and his Jenny had made love merrily. You can feel it in the easy pace of his prose and in his humor. On the other hand, I remember remarking one day in the corridors of the university that if you screwed Krupskaya all the time, you'd end up writing a lousy book like Materialism and Empiriocriticism.