On interviewing Umberto Eco, ‘the most erudite person on earth.’

There’s a species of novel that we call around my house “Big Boy Books,” written by the young geniuses whom publishing is required to discover every five seasons or so. The novels might be too long and their authors might never have met a woman, but they garner attention and reviews because they are so smart. The dispatches launched over the walls of their mighty intellect, mean you, reader, are excluded. I call this the “Literature of Insecurity.”

Eco, from the moment I saw him, was so at ease being the smartest man in the roomthat he forgave us all for having doubted him. He was a one-man force for the Literature of Security. And dude was hella sexy. Unlike those anxious young geniuses, Eco happily explored the erotic ménage a trois among writer, reader and the bed of palimpsest they lie upon . . .

It’s a great lesson: To write is to educate and to entertain. Never to exclude. You wouldn’t think that would even be an issue, but it takes the most secure man in the room, in any room, to make it seem so obvious.

Continue reading: Umberto Eco is remembered by Glen David Gold – LA Times.

Advertisements