Umberto Eco – On Memory, Books, and Computers

22 Feb

Umberto Eco died on February 19, 2016. He was a brilliant man who wrote fascinating books. 

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He also had an encyclopedic memory. Here’s a brief interview filmed by David Ferrario. In the interview, Eco discusses memory, computers, and a terrifying future. 

For those of you with serious book envy that may trigger a Pavlovian response, have your drool cups ready at minute 5 of the interview (with English subtitles). 

Who will inherit that labyrinthian library?

18 Responses to “Umberto Eco – On Memory, Books, and Computers”

  1. robert okaji February 22, 2016 at 12:36 pm #

    I have seen some remarkable personal libraries, but Eco’s is something else! Wow!

  2. Carrie Rubin February 22, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

    Oh my gosh, is that in his home? Can you imagine having that around you every day? With the help of takeout food, one would never have to leave the house. Just read, read, and read.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann February 22, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

      Yes, but you’d have to meet the delivery person at the door. Otherwise, they’d never find you. 😀 Such bliss!

  3. Lady Fancifull February 22, 2016 at 12:47 pm #

    Oh my. Oh my One would need maps for one’s own library. Not to mention a compass

    • Jilanne Hoffmann February 22, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

      I think they should turn the house into a public library. I NEED to see it in person. Perhaps check out a book or two or ten…

  4. Mrs. P February 22, 2016 at 6:03 pm #

    I love how he knew exactly where the book was on the shelf. No card catalog or reference notation.

    I will never use a calculator again…must keep the mind fresh! 😀

    • Jilanne Hoffmann February 22, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

      Yes, those were two of my takeaways, as well. I’m doing my multiplication tables in my head as I type.

      • Mrs. P February 22, 2016 at 7:19 pm #

        Oh no…multi tasking too…how can I ever keep up with you? 🙂

        • Jilanne Hoffmann February 22, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

          Are you choking on dust? Gotta redline it to keep up with me. 😀

        • Mrs. P February 23, 2016 at 5:10 am #

          Ha ha…nope, no redlining. I’m semi-retired! I get to relax and smell the flowers now! 😀

          Lots of time to read books from that library. 😉

  5. heylookawriterfellow February 23, 2016 at 6:18 am #

    How did he find time to write when he had so much stuff to read?!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann February 23, 2016 at 9:26 am #

      I don’t think the man slept. And I’ll bet he didn’t spend time on a social media platform, let alone watch funny cat—um, mouse videos on Facebook.

  6. Marcy Erb February 23, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

    That library was as promised. WOW.

    And thanking all of my math teachers through the years that didn’t let us use calculators!

    • Jilanne Hoffmann February 23, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

      It’s interesting to think about, isn’t it? What happens when much of memory becomes only called on to record experiences and not for recalling factual information. Experience is relative and memories change or evolve as we recall them. But two times twenty-two will always equal forty0-four. What happens when our devices lose our facts?

  7. Ste J February 24, 2016 at 12:49 am #

    He even has a ladder for his library, that is amazing, what an awesome house. Eco will be missed, his books (or at least the first five which I’ve read were all very good and his non fiction was equally fascinating and challenging, it’s a huge loss to literature.

    • Jilanne Hoffmann February 24, 2016 at 8:54 am #

      Yes, I hope his heirs turn that house into a national library, one that I can visit sometime down the road. I’ve got to pull some of his books out of my boxes and give them another look.

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