Jacopo Belbo didn't 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.
The lunatic is all idée fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
We were clever enough to turn a laundry list into poetry.
What did I really think fifteen years ago? A nonbeliever, I felt guilty in the midst of all those believers. And since it seemed to me that they were in the right, I decided to believe, as you might decide to take an aspirin: It can't hurt and you might get better.
Any fact becomes important when it's connected to another.
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.
As the man said, for every complex problem there's a simple solution, and it's wrong.
But if there is no cosmic Plan? What a mockery, to live in exile when no one sent you there. Exile from a place, moreover, that does not exist.
But this lump does not absolve me, because I got it through heedlessness, not though courage. I run my tongue over my lip and what do I do? I write. But bad literature brings no redemption.
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.
From shit, thus, I extract pure Shinola
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.
How clear everything becomes when you look from the darkness of a dungeon.
I believe all sin, love, glory are this: when you slide down the knotted sheets, escaping from Gestapo headquarters, and she hugs you, there, suspended, and she whispers that she's always dreamed of you. The rest is just sex, copulation, the perpetuation of the vile species.
I didn't know how to define it -- hermetic skepticism? liturgical cynicism? -- this higher disbelief that led him to acknowledge the dignity of all the superstitions he scorned.
I should be at peace. I have understood. Don't some say that peace comes when you understand? I have understood. I should be at peace. Who said that peace derives from the contemplation of order, order understood, enjoyed, realized without residuum, in joy and truimph, the end of effort? All is clear, limpid; the eye rests on the whole and on the parts and sees how the parts have conspired to make the whole; it perceives the center where the lymph flows, the breath, the root of the whys....
I was becoming addicted, Diotallevi was becoming corrupted, Belbo was becoming converted. But 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.
More Umberto Eco Quotations (Based on Topics)
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