Umberto Eco, probably best known in North America for his novels, died Friday at the age of 84. Recently I took a deep dive into his book How to Write a Thesis. An exceptional work, that text should be required reading for anyone who undertakes a lengthy, scholarly writing project. My impression of his life is frankly something I hope for my own: He was not afraid to study what he wanted and produce what he liked. May he rest in peace.