Memorable Quotes by Harper Lee and Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco, Harper Lee

The world of literature has been grieving for the last couple of days, reeling under the death of two remarkable personalities, who with their demise, have left a gaping hole in the hearts of their readers. Both Harper Lee and Umberto Eco created characters which resonated with us, characters which stayed with us even when we had put down the books within whose bounds they were contained, characters with whom most of us grew up with, characters who are our lebenslangerschicksalsschatz.

Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Eco’s The Name of the Rose provided role models for the world to follow. From no one’s memory can the name of Scout Finch, Atticus Finch and Brother William of Baskerville can be erased.

Below are some of the best quotes by the two great authors, whose written works will continue to inspire generations.

Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird):

  • “People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”
  • “Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
  • “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
  • “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
  • “We are paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.”

Umberto Eco:

  • “I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.” – Foucault’s Pendulum
  • Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn’t ask ourselves what it says but what it means…” – The Name of the Rose
  • “When you are on the dance floor, there is nothing to do but dance.” – The Mysterious Flame of Queen Lona
  • “Entering a novel is like going on a climb in the mountains: you have to learn the rhythm of respiration, acquire the pace; otherwise you stop right away.”- Postscript to the Name of the Rose
  • “What is life if not the shadow of a fleeting dream?”- Baudolino


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