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Vrtinec seznamov

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  712 ratings  ·  64 reviews
In the history of Western culture we find lists of saints, ranks of soldiers, catalogues of grotesque creatures or medicinal plants, and hordes of treasure. This infinity of lists is no coincidence: a culture prefers enclosed, stable forms when it is sure of its own identity, while when faced with a jumbled series of ill-defined phenomena, it starts making lists. The poeti ...more
408 pages
Published 2011 by Modrijan (first published 2009)
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4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  712 ratings  ·  64 reviews


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Hadrian
So what is a list to Umberto Eco?
-The shield of Achilles in The Iliad, which contains all

A list can be composed of:
-Words
-Images
-Forms
-Places
-Things
-Lists
-Miracles
-Collections and treasures
-Characteristics of things
-Their essences
-An excess of things
-A chaotic mess of things
-An infinity

Who are the authors which Eco references and quotes from extensively to make his point?
-Homer's passages in the Iliad of the troops assembled and the shield of Achilles
-Hesiod's genealogy of the gods
-Virgil's god
...more
David Lafferty
Aug 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gorgeous book filled with amazing images, wonderful commentary (of course) by Eco, and very cool excerpts from a variety of literature. Some of this stuff is obscure to say the least. This is a book to be savored, and I anticipate I'll be enjoying it for a lifetime.
Steve
Feb 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-of-2010
Eco's eccentric book is a ramble through the lists, catalogues, collections and antiquaries that have fashioned our culture. You will learn odd facts, strange details, and obscurities gallore. Eco brings his polymathic knowledge and voluminous reading to bear on the subject of lists.

Beautifuly produced. fully illustrated, with commentary and collections of quotations, literary extracts and poetry.

There are lists of all sorts and kinds. There are pictures that form kinds of lists, collection are
...more
Heather Shaw
Dec 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
Umberto Eco is a world renowned medievalist, philosopher, semiotician, literary critic, and currently the president of the Scuola Superiore di Studi Umanistici, University of Bologna. A frequent contributor to the popular press, Eco has written two children’s books, and is a successful novelist and essayist. His best-known novels are The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum. Eco, however, confessed in an interview in 1996 that The Name of the Rose may be a book more unread that read. “It hap ...more
Rexistopheles
Umberto Eco will remain a fixture in my fantasy dinner party, next to Frederic Chopin and Dorothy Parker. There is something heroic and yet humble in his intellect. Those that have followed his collaboration with the Louvre have enjoyed his taking unusual themes, sometimes brilliant for their obviousness like "beauty" other times brilliant for their subtle importance like "enumeration", and watch him walk through the western canon the way michael jordan drives the key.

Those treating these works
...more
Kate
Feb 05, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I was going to buy this from the London Review Bookstore (one of my top 10 favorite bookstores) but didn't. It was just too heavy. I was already laden with computer and photography equipment. In heels. Raining. Another time.
Jonfaith
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The hefty portfolio concludes with a poem by Apollinaire and I found myself sighing and drifting again through the arresting collection of images. I read the sections by Burton, Pynchon and Calvino a number of times. This is a great book to keep at home, not designed for portability.
Michael
May 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_2015
Not quite what I was expecting.
El
Dec 08, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist
I can't decide if I want Santa to get this for me or for my boyfriend.
Ed Finn
A weird, remarkable and beautiful book. A compendium of literary lists and an incredible trove of related art.
Terry Clague
Jul 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hugely impressive work. The author was asked by The Louvre (as one is) to organize a series of events on any subject. Can you imagine? Eco chose "the list" which should be an area appreciated by every book publisher who ever scrolled through a spreadsheet. This book was an output of that incredible task.

The result is a dream catalogue from the world's greatest art exhibition, complete with excerpts from the likes of Joyce, Homer, and Borges and including beautifully reproduced works of art. It's
...more
Rebecca
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, art
Oh, Mr. Eco! If I could understand what you have written I would worship your god-like abilities to write!

Knowing that Umberto Eco is not easy reading and, thinking that this "brief" "picture book" would be a light (ha!) introduction to his style before attempting The Name of the Rose, I picked it up with the intention to finish it in a couple of days.

Don't let the concise chapters and the numerous photo-filled pages fool you; this isn't an easy book to get through.

The motivation behind this boo
...more
Lysergius
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reference
The Infinity of Lists is a wonderfully idiosyncratic collection of oddities compiled by Umberto Eco. It is lavishly illustrated and covers the arcane world which is also be found in Eco's novels namely: gods and monsters, ancient landscapes and mysterious artefacts, and assorted exotica.

Worth having on one's bookshelf.
Amanda
Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm not sure I read this the way it was meant to be read, but it was interesting and has lots of beautiful pictures.
Safae
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries. There is an allure to enumerating how many women Don Giovanni slept with: It was 2,063, at lea ...more
Jeff
Jan 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A series of meditations on the character of different sorts of lists, especially those that appear in literature and art, Eco's rich illustrative excerpts are more substantial than his own prose. Some of these lists are wonderful, but lists aren't necessarily the most engaging genre to read. Eco's thoughts, especially in the first half of the book are quite compelling, but I wish he would have included more about the connections between the excellent art collection here and his various categorie ...more
Mary Kathryn
Lovely on the eyes, Eco's consideration of lists and catalogues, which he wrote in response to a request from the Louvre, dwells mostly on the visual side. As a maximalist, I enjoyed this erudite discussion of visual and literary lists, but lamented the lack of cookbook consideration. He points out some interesting binaries/distinctions, such as pragmatic and poetic lists, as well as coherent and chaotic lists.
Andrea Patrick
Nov 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something of a companion to Eco's quick art history survey History of Beauty and follow-up On Ugliness, but with the addition of literature to the survey. Eco sorts out the different kinds of lists (I couldn't even name three before I read this) and gives wonderful examples. Accompanying examples of art demonstrate visual conceptions of what might be categorized as lists. As always, Eco makes me think about thinking in new ways.
Rosemary
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than counting sheep for insomniacs: contemplating the scenes engraved upon the shield of Achilles. Or reading again Homer's catalog of ships. Based on a series of lectures by Eco and illustrated with masterworks from the Louvre, this not a read cover-to-cover book. This is a dip into a chapter and slowly savor, drifting off to dream of lists of angels.
Laura-nassidesa Eschbaugh
Having a hard time with this book, to be honest I am skipping a lot. I wish the illustration and art work had the same explanations as the literary works. I was surprised by the number of errors and typos. I would not recommend this book as a book to read for enjoyment.
Runa
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Those who take a delight in lists will find it delightful to read what is ultimately a list of lists; this is a book that is valuable in its bookness, its effervescent collection of visual and literary lists, all crammed together and almost - I think Eco would argue - infinite.
Sem
May 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
I wish I could give it more stars but while Eco's potboilers are attractive they're riddled with mistakes. And the choice of lists was less than stellar.
Brandon
May 13, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly disappointed, when all I can recommend is the pictures...
joshuA
Dec 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read / skimmed through the essays. A must read.
Stacy
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I may have read this too quickly to fully appreciate.
Andra
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: despre-frumos, study, fita
every Umberto Eco I finnish breaks my heart
Eznelak (Jamie)
Feb 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book from my Valentine! :)
Joseph Jupille
Jan 04, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jgmf
A fascinating little trifle, more for thumbing through and ogling the art, sipping at some interesting, piecemeal ideas, than any systematic and/or coherent theory of lists.
Alois Wittwer
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally. I am the slowest at reading academic texts.

But, WOW.
Matthew
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Perhaps my perfect book
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Umberto Eco was an Italian writer of fiction, essays, academic texts, and children's books. A professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, Eco’s brilliant fiction is known for its playful use of language and symbols, its astonishing array of allusions and references, and clever use of puzzles and narrative inventions. His perceptive essays on modern culture are filled with a delightful sen ...more