Umberto Eco has diedBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/umberto-eco-has-died.html
Italian writer, historian and philosopher Umberto Eco died on Friday evening, February 19, at his home, according to an official statement from his family. The name of the writer became known to the whole world in 1980 after the release of his novel "The Name of the Rose", which immediately became a bestseller. In addition to writing, Umberto Eco was a scientist, a specialist in popular culture, a member of the world's leading academies, a laureate of the largest world awards, a holder of the Grand Cross and the Legion of Honor, a founder and director of scientific and artistic journals, and a collector of ancient books.
We decided to pay tribute to the literary giant and share with you Umberto Eco's New Year's letter to his grandson, which he called "Learn by heart" and dedicated to what a person cannot live without - memory.
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My dear grandson
I would not want this Christmas letter to sound too edifying, in the spirit of De Amicis, and would preach love for our neighbors, homeland, humanity and the like. You would not listen to this (you are already an adult, and I am too old), because the value system has changed so much that my recommendations may not be appropriate.
So, I want to give just one piece of advice that may be useful to you in practice now that you are using your tablet. I won't advise you not to do it for fear of looking like a stupid old man. I do use it myself. As a last resort, I can advise you not to dwell on the hundreds of pornographic sites showing sexual games between people, between man and animals. Do not believe that sexual relations are reduced to these rather monotonous activities. These scenes are designed to keep you at home instead of going out and meeting real girls. I'm assuming you're straight, otherwise take my advice as an app to your situation, but look at girls at school or playgrounds because they're better than TV characters and will someday give you more joy than online girls. Trust me, because I have more experience (if I had only watched sex games on the computer, your father would never have been born, and you would never have been).
But I didn’t want to talk about this with you, but about the disease that struck you and the previous generation, which is already studying at universities. I'm talking about memory loss.
It's true that if you want to know who Charlemagne is or where Kuala Lumpur is located, you can press a button and instantly find out everything from the Internet. Do this when you need it, but, having received a certificate, try to remember its contents so as not to look for it again when you need this knowledge at school, for example. The bad thing is that the understanding that a computer can answer your question at any time discourages you from remembering information. This phenomenon can be compared as follows: after learning that one can get from one street to another by bus or metro, which is very convenient in case of a hurry, a person decides that he no longer needs to walk. But if you stop walking, you will turn into a person who is forced to move around in a wheelchair. Oh, I know that you play sports and know how to control your body, but back to your brain.
(Photo: rexfeatures) Here's my recipe. Every morning memorize some short poem, as we were forced to do in childhood. You can arrange a competition with friends for the best memory. If you don't like poetry, then you can memorize the composition of football teams, but you must know the players not only of the Club of Rome, but also the players of other teams, as well as their composition in the past tenses (imagine that I remember the names of the players of the Club of Turin, former on board the plane that crashed on Superga Hill: Bachigalupo, Ballarin, Maroso, and so on). Compete in who remembers the contents of the books read better (who was on board the Hispaniola, which went to search for treasure island? Lord Trelawney, Captain Smollett, Dr. Livesey, John Silver, Jim ...). Find out if your friends remember the names of the servants of the Three Musketeers and d'Artagnan (Grimaud, Bazin, Musketon and Planchet) ... And if you don't want to read The Three Musketeers (although you don't know what you're missing), then play a similar game with the book you read.
It feels like a game, yes it is a game, but you will see your head fill with characters, stories and memories of all kinds. You may ask why the computer was once called the electronic brain. That's because it was designed to model your (our) brain, but the human brain has more connections than a computer. The brain is a computer that is always with you, its capabilities expand as a result of exercise, and your desktop computer, after prolonged use, loses speed and needs to be replaced after a few years. And your brain can last you up to 90 years, and at ninety, if you exercise it, you will remember more than you remember now. It's also free.
Then there is historical memory, which is not related to the facts of your life or what you have read. It stores the events that happened before you were born.
(Photo: rexfeatures) Today, if you go to the cinema, you must arrive at the beginning of the movie. When the movie starts, it's like they're always leading you by the hand, explaining what's going on. In my day, you could walk into a movie theater at any time, even in the middle of a movie. A lot of things happened before you came, and you had to think about what happened before. When the movie started over, you could see if your reconstruction was correct. If you liked the movie, you could stay and watch it again. Life is like watching a movie in my day. We are born at a time when many events have already happened over hundreds of thousands of years, and it is important to understand what happened before we were born. This is necessary in order to better understand why so many new events are happening today.
School today (besides your own reading circle) should teach you to remember things that happened before you were born, but they are not good at it. Various surveys show that today's youth, even university students born in 1990, do not know, or perhaps do not want to know, what happened in 1980, let alone what happened 50 years ago. Statistics say that when young people are asked who Aldo Moro is, they answer that he led the Red Brigades, and he was killed by members of this underground radical left organization.
The activities of the "Red Brigades" remain a mystery to many, and yet they were present on the political scene only thirty years ago. I was born in 1932, ten years after the Nazis came to power, but I knew who was prime minister at the time of the march on Rome. Perhaps, in the fascist school, they told me about him in order to explain how stupid and bad this minister (“cowardly Fact”), who was deposed by the fascists, was. So be it, but I knew about it. But let's leave school aside. Today's youth do not know the film actresses of twenty years ago, but I knew who Francesca Bertini was, who starred in silent films twenty years before my birth. Maybe it was because I was leafing through old magazines piled up in the closet of our house. I suggest you look through old magazines too, because it helps to understand what happened before you were born.
But why is it so important to know about the events of the distant past? Because often such knowledge helps to understand the course of today's events and in any case, like knowing the composition of football teams, it helps to enrich our memory.
Keep in mind that you can train your memory not only with the help of books and magazines, but also with the help of the Internet. It is suitable not only for chatting with your friends, but also for studying world history. Who are the Hittites and Camizars? What were the names of the three ships of Columbus? When did dinosaurs become extinct? Was there a steering wheel on Noah's Ark? What was the name of the bull's ancestor? A hundred years ago there were more tigers than there are now? What do you know about the Mali Empire? Who told about her? Who was the second pope in history? When was Mickey Mouse created?
I could keep asking questions ad infinitum, and they would be great research topics. All this must be remembered. The day will come and you will grow old, but you will feel that you have lived a thousand lives, as if you participated in the Battle of Waterloo, was present at the assassination of Julius Caesar, visited the place where Berthold Schwartz, mixing various substances in a mortar in an attempt to get gold, accidentally invented gunpowder and flew into the air (and so he should!). And your other friends, who do not seek to enrich their memory, will live only one life of their own, monotonous and devoid of great emotions.
So enrich your memory and memorize "La Vispa Teresa" tomorrow.