The Intellectual Legacy of Umberto Eco in 13 Statements

July 1, 2016

The great Italian writer and philosopher, Umberto Eco, has left us. Of thought and distinguished style, this wonderful mind leaves a great emotional and intellectual legacy for both his contemporary followers and those who will unite their thinking with his in the future.

It is comforting to be able to enjoy such wonderful creations such as “The Name of the Rose,” “Foucault’s Pendulum,” “Number Zero,” or “The Prague Cemetery.” It was the first of these, published in 1980, which first earned him popularity. A masterpiece which chronicled a great mystery of history, legends and intrigues of the Italian Middle Ages.

Critical of modern life, social networks, culture and journalism, his passion for writing and encouraging critical thinking are the reasons why he is considered to be one of the brightest minds in Europe in the past century.

the name of the rose

Quotes by Umberto Eco

His life story, full of success and recognition, has left us great thoughts to reflect on and remember him by. Thus, we believe that a good tribute would be to conduct a review of some of his most famous quotes. Here are some of them:

  • “Social networks give you the right to speak to legions of idiots who previously spoke only in the bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community. They were then quickly silenced, but now have the same right to speak as to a Nobel Prize. It is an invasion of imbeciles. ” 
  • “The world is full of precious books that nobody reads.”
  • “Books are not made for one who believes in them, but rather to be under investigation. When we consider a book, we should not ask about what it says, but what it means.” 
  • “What is philosophy? Sorry for my trivial conservatism, but I cannot find a better answer Aristotle’s definition of metaphysics: a response to an act of wonder. “
  • “When men stop believing in God, it doesn’t mean they believe in nothing: they believe in everything.”
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  • “Wisdom is not destroying idols, but rather it never creates them.”
  • Love is wiser than wisdom”
  • “Nothing is more harmful to creativity that the fury of inspiration.”
  • “The real hero is a hero by mistake. He dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else. “
  • “Monsters exist because they are part of a divine plan and in the horrible features of those same monsters, the power of the creator is revealed”. 
  • “All poets write bad poetry. Bad poets publish it, good poets burn it.”
  • “It’s not news that make the newspaper, it is the newspaper that makes the news and knowing how to bring four different announcements together means proposing a fifth announcement to the reader.” 
  • “Today, when the names frauds and corrupt people surface or when more is known, people do not care about anything and it is only Albanian chicken thieves that go to jail.” 
clip from the movie the name of the rose

The Name of the Rose, from literary bestseller to blockbuster

It was his fiction novel, “The Name of the Rose,” which managed to launch Umberto Eco to his most absolute literary stardom. In fact, there was such an impact from his sales that Jean-Jacques Annaud and a group of Italo-Franco-German producers proposed that the detective adventures of the Franciscan William of Baskerville, played by Sean Connery, be brought to the big screen.