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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Wisdom #5

I had two nectarines after dinner and didn't want to go to bed on a full stomach, so I started killing time by looking up Umberto Eco on wikipedia. The minute I saw the following quotations, I knew I had to share them. For anyone who reads my blog (or David Pekema's) and wants to know...what's with the lists?

Well..Umberto Eco says:

1) "We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death. That's why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and, therefore, no end. It's a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don't want to die."


2) "I like lists for the same reason other people like football or pedophilia."

The two statements strike me as a little incompatible, but then again, Eco is a billion times smarter than me. Anyhow, I like 'em both.

Both from an interview in SPIEGEL in 2009 regarding Eco's (then) upcoming Louvre exhibition on the essential nature of lists, poets who list things in their works and painters who accumulate things in their paintings. Fascinating!

I wonder if there's another writer out there who can tell me why I like parentheses and footnotes?

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