Umberto Eco, at a public appearance in the UK to support Numero Zero, imparted some choice thoughts on what makes literature, and on what makes his distinct, from conspiracies and public knowledge to literary losers:
It’s very boring to talk about winners. The real literature always talks about losers. Madame Bovary is a loser. Julien Sorel is a loser. I am doing only the same job. Losers are more fascinating.