The list could surely go on, and there is nothing more wonderful than a list, instrument of wondrous hypotyposis.
("The Name of the Rose")
More Quotes from Umberto Eco:What is love? There is nothing in the world, neither man nor Devil nor any thing, that I hold as suspect as love, for it penetrates the soul more than any other thing. Nothing exists that so fills and binds the heart as love does. Therefore, unless you have those weapons that subdue it, the soul plunges through love into an immense abyss.
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?
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.
'I have never doubted the truth of signs, Adso they are the only things man has with which to orient himself in the world. What I did not understand is the relation among signs.... I behaved stubbornly, pursuing a semblance of order, when I should have known well that there is no order in the universe.' 'But in imagining an erroneous order you still found something....' 'What you say is very fine, Adso, and I thank you. 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.... The only truths that are useful are instruments to be thrown away.'
A narrator should not supply interpretations of his work otherwise he would have not written a novel, which is a machine for generating interpretations.
A book is a fragile creature, it suffers the wear of time, it fears rodents, the elements and clumsy hands. so the librarian protects the books not only against mankind but also against nature and devotes his life to this war with the forces of oblivion.
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I don't want marriage. You know why? Because I did that. I did it for 32 years.