I vividly remember the stories my grandfather told me about the carnage of the First World War, which people tend to forget was one of the worst massacres in human history.
I don't know whether these people are going to find themselves, but as they live their lives they have no choice but to face up to the image others have of them. They're forced to look at themselves in a mirror, and they often manage to glimpse something of themselves.
I don't have any doubts either about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Perhaps some more should be added to the list, but I don't have the slightest doubt about human rights.
Xenophobia manifests itself especially against civilizations and cultures that are weak because they lack economic resources, means of subsistence or land. So nomadic people are the first targets of this kind of aggression.
Doubts are like stains on a shirt. I like shirts with stains, because when I'm given a shirt that's too clean, one that's completely white, I immediately start having doubts.
Eco sees the intellectual as an organizer of culture, someone who can run a magazine or a museum. An administrator, in fact. I think this is a melancholy situation for an intellectual.
Fifty years after half a million gypsies were exterminated in the Second World War - thousands of them in Auschwitz - we're again preparing the mass killing of this minority.
But I don't think I have any particular talent for prediction, because when you have three or four elements in hand, you don't have to be a genius to reach certain conclusions.
An intellectual is going to have doubts, for example, about a fundamentalist religious doctrine that admits no doubt, about an imposed political system that allows no doubt, about a perfect aesthetic that has no room for doubt.
When you have a foreign invasion - in this case by the Indonesian army - writers, intellectuals, newspapers and magazines are the first targets of repression.
In a novel, my feelings and sense of outrage can find a broader means of expression which would be more symbolic and applicable to many European countries.