When his first best seller came out Eco was interviewed by loads of journalists. With one of them he asked:
" I know you have a very busy life so may I ask you a delicate question: have you have time to read some pages of my book?" The lady blushed and replied that she had read all six hundred pages through to the end. She added that she had read some parts twice.
At this Eco sighed deeply and said in a low voice: " The we have a real problem on our hands. Are we going to discuss the book you have read or the book I think I tried to write?
The map is not the territory and the dilemma alluded to above besets any author talking to any reader about his work. I have really no idea at all of the version of this posting that you now have in your head, after all the deletion, distortion, generalisation, reframing and elaboration that has gone into your act of reading.
Good night from Baku on my last night here. I will talk to you again tomorrow from UK.
Warmly yours, Mario