Monday, June 27, 2005

A public, fictional life

Umberto Eco:

I have the virtue of not listening when people are talking to me, and to muse by myself. One day, a friend of mine — by the way, an antiquarian book dealer, which is probably why my character became a book dealer — was talking with me while we were sipping martinis. He used a word... I don’t know if it was memory, or maybe he said, "I forgot," but something clicked in my brain, and I started musing. My friend said, "You are not listening to me," and I said, "Sorry, I was writing my new novel," and he bought me a second martini.

Just imagine the martinis consumed if Eco had a blog to feed.


People right now are encouraged to live a more public, fictional life than their own and you realize that when they are alone, they are compelled to talk on their cell phone to be in contact with somebody else, because they are unable to appreciate silence and solitude. I think it’s a dangerous risk of our time.

I see his point, but how is this worse than not listening to your drinking buddy?

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