Umberto Eco’s list of lists

How interesting can a list be? In Eco’s hands, quite thrilling, and if you’re a fan of his writing you’ll know that he likes using lists in his novels.
Here he brings his fascination with catalogues together in a thick, glossy treasure that combs literature from Homer to Pablo Neruda, and James Joyce to Patrick Süskind to present the reader with an astounding number of “practical and poetic lists”. There are lists of angels and demons, the type of people who drink, the smells of Paris in the 18th century, ingredients for witches’ brew, the names of alchemical prima materia, and, well, etcetera – a word that here comes into its full meaning.
There are also “visual lists” – a great number of paintings which give form to the sense of infinities of things. Who can tire of such a catalogue? – Karin Schimke

The Inifinity of Lists

Umberto Eco

Maclehose Press

REVIEW: Karin Schimke

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