Umberto Eco: Defender of Spiritual Culture

With the death of Umberto Eco the world lost one of defenders of our spiritual culture,

Outstanding Italian writer and philosopher Umberto Eco died Friday night at his home at the age of 84. Viktor Yerofeev, well-known Russian writer and expert of the Valdai Discussion Club, in an interview with

Yerofeyev said that there were many critics of the modern world, who believed in its soullessness with nothing to develop. Umberto Eco was that man who proved that in our world culture can develop, where there is a high intellectual analysis. High popularity of Umberto Eco suggests that the world is willing to listen to him and accept.

With the death of Umberto Eco the world lost one of defenders of our spiritual culture, Yerofeev said. Eco was an innovator in prose, he created an amazing novel Name of the Rose, which connected the detective with deep philosophical quest. It was a real revelation. The novel became an outstanding event of the second half of the 20th century.

According to Yerofeev, Umberto Eco has done a lot to make the history of Europe closer to the ordinary man. He was an outstanding expert in the field of medieval philosophy and culture, he did a lot for us to realize our roots. On the other hand, he has done a lot to warn us about the real threat of fascism which is raising its head from one country to another. His essay Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt is not only about Europe's past, but also a warning for the future.

This is an amazing interweaving of history, the present and thinking about the future. He writes that the false cult of tradition, nationalism and rationalism, the cult of force can lead the world towards fascism. This is necessary not only to read but also to explore.

Today literature has much less impact on a person. But if literature is full of energy and ready to start dialogue with a reader, it can influence significantly. When Yerofeev tried to meet with Umberto Eco in Jerusalem, he could not get to him through the huge crowd of readers and admirers from all over the world. People who were there, obviously felt his humanistic attitude. The world lost a great man, Yerofeev said.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.