We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death.
But then, apart from politicians and the pope, why does anyone else use Twitter? Perhaps to feel important.
Is it possible to say "It was a beautiful morning at the end of November" without feeling like Snoopy?
All the religious wars that have caused blood to be shed for centuries arise from passionate feelings and facile counter-positions, such as Us and Them, good and bad, white and black.
Does it make sense to choose the wrong Opportunity just to convince yourself that you would have chosen the right one—had you had the Opportunity? I.
The only truths that are useful are instruments to be thrown away.
Every European goes on the streets and sees medieval churches. Not if you live in Indianapolis.
Followers of the occult believe in only what they already know, and in those things that confirm what they have already learned.
How beautiful was the spectacle of nature not yet touched by the often perverse wisdom of man!
For architecture, among all the arts, is the one that most boldly tries to reproduce in its rhythm the order of the universe, which the ancients called "kosmos," that is to say ornate, since it is like a great animal on whom there shine the perfection and the proportion of all its members.
Benno blushed violently. I am not a murderer! he protested. No one is, until he commits his first crime, William said philosophically.
I think of myself as a serious professor who, during the weekend, writes novels.
Political satire is a serious thing. In democratic newspapers throughout the world there are daily cartoons that often are not even funny, as is the case especially in many English-language newspapers. Instead, they contain a political message, and the artist takes full responsibility.
If a shepherd errs, he must be isolated from other shepherds, but woe unto us if the sheep begin to distrust shepherds.
I have seen many other fragments of the cross, in other churches. If all were genuine, our Lord's torment could not have been on a couple of planks nailed together, but on an entire forest.
You are always born under the wrong sign, and to live in this world properly you have to rewrite your own horoscope day by day.
How peaceful life would be without Love, Adso. How Safe. How Tranquil. And how Dull.
Rem tene, verba sequentur: grasp the subject, and the words will follow. This, I believe, is the opposite of what happens with poetry, which is more a case of verba tene, res sequentur. grasp the words, and the subject will follow.
Religion has nothing to do with God. It's a fundamental attitude of human beings, who ask about the origins of life and what happens after death. For many, the answer is a personal god. In my opinion, it's religion that produces God, not the other way round.
Every European goes on the streets and sees medieval churches. Not if you live in Indianapolis. The most exciting letters I received were from people in places like that.
The function of memory is not only to preserve, but also to throw away. If you remembered everything from your entire life, you would be sick.
How does a person feel when looking at the sky? He thinks that he doesn't have enough tongues to describe what he sees. Nevertheless, people have never stopping describing the sky, simply listing what they see.
I perdenti, come gli autodidatti, hanno sempre conoscenze più vaste dei vincenti, se vuoi vincere devi sapere una cosa sola e non perdere tempo a saperle tutte, il piacere dell'erudizione è riservato ai perdenti.
Because learning does not consist only of knowing what we must or we can do, but also of knowing what we could do and perhaps should not do.
How clear everything becomes when you look from the darkness of a dungeon.
If you accuse a man of murder, you might be believed, but if you accuse him of eating children for lunch and dinner like Gilles de Rais, no one will take you seriously.
To read a paper book is another experience: you can do it on a ship, on the branch of a tree, on your bed, even if there is a blackout.
He is, or has been, in many ways a great man. But for this very reason he is odd. It is only petty men who seem normal.
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.
But it has often happened that I have found the most seductive depictions of sin in the pages of those very men of incorruptible virtue who condemned their spell and their effects.
Dan Brown is a character from 'Foucault's Pendulum!' I invented him. He shares my characters' fascinations - the world conspiracy of Rosicrucians, Masons, and Jesuits. The role of the Knights Templar. The hermetic secret. The principle that everything is connected. I suspect Dan Brown might not even exist.
Semiotics is in principle the discipline studying everything which can be used in order to lie. If something cannot be used to tell a lie, conversely it cannot be used to tell the truth: it cannot in fact be used "to tell" at all.
You cannot escape one infinite, I told myself, by fleeing to another; you cannot escape the revelation of the identical by taking refuge in the illusion of the multiple.
There's a difference between the 'moderate' overwhelm of a great bookshop and the infinite overwhelm of the Internet.
I know the present only through the television screen, whereas I have direct knowledge of the Middle Ages.
There are more books in the world than hours in which to read them. We are thus deeply influenced by books we haven't read, that we haven't had the time to read.
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?
We live for books. A sweet mission in this world dominated by disorder and decay.
Machines, he said, are an effect of art, which is nature's ape, and they reproduce not its forms but the operation itself.
There are many things that I do not know because I photocopied a text and then relaxed as if I had read it.
Have you ever wondered why in the last century all the great metropolises hastened to build subways? To solve traffic problems? Before there were automobiles, when there were only horse-drawn carriages? From.
The cultivated person's first duty is to be always prepared to rewrite the encyclopedia.
I have never encountered, not even in witchcraft trials, a dead man whom God or the Devil allowed to climb up from the abyss to erase the evidence of his misdeed—then.