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Umberto Eco Quotes (75 Quotes)


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  • 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.
    (Umberto Eco, "Foucault's Pendulum")

  • The list could surely go on, and there is nothing more wonderful than a list, instrument of wondrous hypotyposis.
    (Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose")

  • 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.
    (Umberto Eco, "Foucault's Pendulum")

  • The monkish vows keep us far from that sink of vice that is the female body, but often they bring us close to other errors. Can I finally hide from myself the fact that even today my old age is still stirred by the noonday demon when my eyes, in choir, happen to linger on the beardless face of a novice, pure and fresh as a maiden's?
    (Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose")

  • We were clever enough to turn a laundry list into poetry.
    (Umberto Eco, "Foucault's Pendulum")


  • The order that our mind imagines is like a net, or like a ladder, built to attain something. But afterward you must throw the ladder away, because you discover that, even if it was useful, it was meaningless.
    (Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose")

  • 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.
    (Umberto Eco, "Foucault's Pendulum")

  • The print does not always have the same shape as the body that impressed it, and it doesn't always derive from the pressure of a body. At times it reproduces the impression a body has left in our mind: it is the print of an idea.
    (Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose")

  • Any fact becomes important when it's connected to another.
    (Umberto Eco, "Foucault's Pendulum")

  • 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.
    (Umberto Eco, "Foucault's Pendulum")

  • This, in fact, is the power of the imagination, which, combining the memory of gold with that of the mountain, can compose the idea of a golden mountain.
    (Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose")

  • As the man said, for every complex problem there's a simple solution, and it's wrong.
    (Umberto Eco, "Foucault's Pendulum")

  • A monk should surely love his books with humility, wishing their good and not the glory of his own curiosity; but what the temptation of adultery is for laymen and the yearning for riches is for secular ecclesiastics, the seduction of knowledge is for monks.
    (Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose")

  • True learning must not be content with ideas, which are, in fact, signs, but must discover things in their individual truth.
    (Umberto Eco, "The Name of the Rose")

  • 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.
    (Umberto Eco, "Foucault's Pendulum")


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