Thank you Umberto Eco

The story goes that I have started reading at the age of 4 and never stopped since. It was like visiting this amazing forest of literature with fascination and absolutely no background knowledge. School curriculum never really extended to the regions I was frequenting.  I was enjoying myself reading but at the same time experiencing frustration caused by the lack of tools to interpret what I was reading and set it in the context. When I have encountered Umberto Eco he took me to the fictional woods and shown me the difference between interpreting and over-interpreting. He taught me to think, to analyze, to approach the text in a manner that permits understanding as well as enjoyment.
I have just found out that he passed away yesterday. Through his books he was an enormous influence on my growing up and understanding language and communication. He taught me to read on a completely different level. I was a young teen starved of knowledge exceeding school curriculum and he supplied me with a key to the world that has never ceased to amaze me since. His ability to express complex ideas in a manner accessible to a casual reader was completely unique. Some of the sentences he wrote are so embedded in my brain that I could just stand up and quote even though I have last read them years ago. What fascinated me the most about all his writing was the fact that he was never telling the reader what to think, he was merely encouraging them to think.

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