Umberto Eco Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 219 quotes)
[W]hen I put Jorge in the library I did not yet know he was the murderer. He acted on his own, so to speak. And it must not be thought that this is an 'idealistic' position, as if I were saying that the characters have an autonomous life and the author, in a kind of trance, makes them behave as they themselves direct him. That kind of nonsense belongs in term papers. The fact is that the characters are obliged to act according to the laws of the world in which they live. In other words, the narrator is the prisoner of his own premises.
Here he was holding the clear proof of the existence of other skies, but at the same time without having to ascend beyond the celestial spheres, for he intuited many worlds in a piece of coral. Was there any need to calculate the number of forms which the atoms of the Universe could create--burning at the stake all those who said their number was not finite--when it sufficed to meditate for years on one of these marine objects to realize how the deviation of a single atom, whether willed by God or prompted by Chance, could generate inconceivable Milky Ways?
Sometimes I look a the Moon, and I imagine that those darker spots are caverns, cities, islands, and the places that shine are those where the sea catches the light of the sun like the glass of a mirror...I would like to tell of war and friendship among the various parts of the body, the arms that do battle with the feet, and the veins that make love with the arteries or the bones with the marrow. All the stories I would like to write persecute me when I am in my chamber, it seems as if they are all around me, the little devils, and while one tugs at my ear, another tweaks my nose, and each says to me, 'Sir, write me, I am beautiful'.
In the years when I discoverd the Abb Vallet volume, there was a widespread conviction that one should write only out of a commitment to the present, in order to change the world. Now, after ten years or more, the man of letters (restored to his loftiest dignity) can happily write out of pure love of writing.