5 Remembrances of Umberto Eco
With the passing of Umberto Eco, here are 5 remembrances of the man and his work.
The book was requested by an Italian publisher who was looking for short thrillers. Eco's result was a 500+ page tome, inspired because Eco "felt like poisoning a monk."
2. Eco Believed People Wanted To Be Challenged
I was always defined as too erudite and philosophical, too difficult. Then I wrote a novel that is not erudite at all, that is written in plain language, The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, and among my novels it is the one that has sold the least. So probably I am writing for masochists. It’s only publishers and some journalists who believe that people want simple things. People are tired of simple things. They want to be challenged.
3. Eco Is The Springsteen Of Authors
At age 79, Eco embarked on a 20 city global book tour.
4. Eco Had A HUGE Personal Library
Between two libraries, one in his apartment and one in his vacation home, Eco had over 50,000 volumes.
Well, [my father] died very early, in 1962, but not before I had published a few books. It was academic stuff, and probably confusing to my father, but I discovered that very late in the evening he would try to read them. The Open Work was published exactly three months before his death and was reviewed by the great poet Eugenio Montale in the Corriere della Sera. It was a mixed review—curious, friendly, and nasty—but it was a review by Montale nonetheless and I think that, for my father, it would have been impossible to imagine anything more. In a sense, I paid my debt, and in the end, I feel I met all his wishes, though I imagine he would have read my novels with greater pleasure. My mother lived ten more years, so she knew that I wrote many other books, and that I was invited to lecture by foreign universities. She was very sick, but she was happy, though I don’t think she quite realized what was happening. And you know, a mother is proud of her own son, even if the son is completely stupid.
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