Umberto Eco, now 83 years old, has some advice to pass along to the young.
In March, the Italian semiotician, philosopher, literary critic, and novelist — and, of course, author of Foucault’s Pendulum – published How to Write a Thesis. It’s a witty, irreverent and practical guide for the student laboring over a thesis or dissertation. Josh Jones has more on that here.
Now, in a newly-released video from The Louisiana Channel (a media outlet based in Denmark), Eco turns his attention toward aspiring writers. And his wise counsel comes down to this: Keep your ego in check, make sure your ambitions are realistic, put in the time and the hard work, and don’t shoot for the Nobel Prize in Literature straight out of the gate. That, Eco says, kills every literary career. He’ll also tell you that writing is “10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” They’re truisms — you discover when you’re an octogenarian — that turn out to be true.
Find more tips for aspiring writers below.
Dan Colman is the founder/editor of Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn and share intelligent media with your friends. Or better yet, sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox.