Umberto Eco Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old Umberto Eco quotes, Umberto Eco sayings, and Umberto Eco proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Nothing is more fleeting than external form, which withers and alters like the flowers of the field at the appearance of autumn.

Umberto Eco

Nothing is more fleeting than external form, which withers and alters like the flowers of the field at the appearance of autumn.

Umberto Eco

The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.

Umberto Eco

When men stop believing in God, it isn't that they then believe in nothing: they believe in everything.     

Umberto Eco

I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by the little scraps of wisdom.

Umberto Eco

I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.

Umberto Eco

Show not what has been done, but what can be. How beautiful the world would be if there were a procedure for moving through labyrinths.     

Umberto Eco

If you want to use television to teach somebody, you must first teach them how to use television.     

Umberto Eco

In the Middle Ages, cathedrals and convents burned like tinder; imagining a medieval story without a fire is like imagining a World War II movie in the Pacific without a fighter plane shot down in flames.

Umberto Eco

National identity is the last bastion of the dispossessed. But the meaning of identity is now based on hatred, on hatred for those who are not the same.     

Umberto Eco

There is nothing more difficult to define than an aphorism.

Umberto Eco

A mystic is a hysteric who has met her confessor before her doctor.

Umberto Eco

Every great thinker is someone else's moron.

Umberto Eco

A novel is a machine for generating interpretations.     

Umberto Eco

Entering a novel is like going on a climb in the mountains: You have to learn the rhythms of respiration - acquire the pace. Otherwise you stop right away.     

Umberto Eco

Followers of the occult believe in only what they already know, and in those things that confirm what they have already learned.

Umberto Eco

The more elusive and ambiguous a symbol is, the more it gains significance and power.     

Umberto Eco