Umberto Eco, "How to Write an Introduction," in How To Travel With a Salmon & Other Essays, p. 172-175. So funny, this man.
My children have been a source of great comfort to me and have provided me with the affection, the energy, and the confidence to complete my self-imposed task. Thanks to their complete, Olympian detachment from my work, I have found strength to conclude this article after a daily struggle with the definition of the intellectual's role in postmodern society. I am indebted to them for inspiring an unshakable determination to withdraw into my study and write these pages, rather than encounter in the hall their best friends, whose hairdresser follows aesthetic criteria that revolt my sensibilities.