While I would love to say Umberto Eco is my hero, it would not be the entire truth because hero is a poor word to describe his impact upon me. I was introduced to him at university as his book Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language was a set reading. Having no idea who he was I did a bit of research and discovered his fiction. I adored Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose) but it was Il pendolo di Foucault (Foucault’s Pendulum) that was my favorite work. The more I read, the more I wanted to know and then one day on television there was documentary about him. It showed his 30,000 volume library and I remember wishing I could break in just to take a look around. It was because of Umberto that I sought knowledge but it was also because of him I did not write for many years. I felt terribly inadequate and no matter how much education I obtained, this fear made me a coward. It took several more years for me to accept that there were always going to be brighter stars and I might as well just get on with it. So I did. Umberto Eco was both my inspiration and my ruin and to change one or the other would take away who I am.