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The Infinity of Lists

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781906694890

Price: £25

ON SALE: 27th September 2012


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In the history of Western culture we find lists of saints, rosters of soldiers, catalogues of grotesque creatures or medicinal plants, and hordes of treasure.

The poetics of lists can be found from Homer to Joyce, from the treasures of Gothic cathedrals to the fantastic landscapes of Bosch and cabinets of curiosities, until we get to Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst in the 20th century.

This illustrated essay is accompanied by a literary anthology and a wide selection of works of art illustrating the texts presented.


'glorious, dazzling' Independent.
'Using art, Eco looks at lists of saints, angels, bestiaries, and other tropes of western art. All this is accompanied by wonderful illustrations' Catholic Herald.
Catholic Herald
'a beautifully presented book of artworks' Evening Standard.
Evening Standard
'Illustrated with wonderful, evocative pictures and an extensive literary anthology' David Sexton, Evening Standard.
Evening Standard
'The Thinking Person's literary equivalent to the Christmas pud: chockfull of goodies ... studded with obscure, spicy ingredients ... why not just lie back and wallow in Eco's bath of superabundance' Simon Schama, Financial Times.
Financial Times
'Flaunting his extraordinary erudition but flaunting it modestly ... The Infinity of Lists, sumptuous yet unpresumptuous, is the perfect anti-Kindle' Gilbert Adair, Spectator.
'Not everyone could find beauty and intrigue in lists, but Eco has produced a rich anthology on them, his erudite essays punctuating a cornucopia of catalogues from art and literature' Sunday Telegraph.
Sunday Telegraph
'A dazzling, dizzying tour through two millennia ... supported by dozens of examples from literature and life' Max Rashbrooke, Time Out.
Time Out
'A characteristic product of this extraordinary writer and polymath: learned, sparkling, insightful, provocative, packed full of intriguing and arcane information' Mary Beard, Guardian.