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The Infinity of Lists: An Illustrated Essay Hardcover – November 17, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (November 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847832961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847832965
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Eco's short and often pithy chapter introductions, the gorgeous displays of exemplary art, and the generous experts from original texts are a tour de force of curation."
ForeWord Magazine

"....a very beautifully produced illustrated volume from Rizzoli, and there’s a positively Millerian moment in it."
National Review

"...a splendidly illustrated monograph, The Infinity of Lists: An Illustrated Essay (Rizzoli) ...is, in essence, a tour through art, literature, and music based on the theme of lists, an investigation of the phenomenon of cataloging and collecting. Additionally, Eco maintains that the impulse to accumulate, to collect, is a reoccurring passion in Western culture."
The Morning News

About the Author

Umberto Eco, semiotician at the University of Bologna, is widely known as one of the finest living authors whose best-selling novels include The Name of the Rose, Foucault’s Pendulum, The Island of the Day Before, and Baudolino.

More About the Author

Umberto Eco (born 5 January 1932) is an Italian novelist, medievalist, semiotician, philosopher, and literary critic.

He is the author of several bestselling novels, The Name of The Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, The Island of The Day Before, and Baudolino. His collections of essays include Five Moral Pieces, Kant and the Platypus, Serendipities, Travels In Hyperreality, and How To Travel With a Salmon and Other Essays.

He has also written academic texts and children's books.


Photography (c) Università Reggio Calabria

Customer Reviews

Had to own it and I will treasure it!
Rebecca Simso
In short, I've read this book, but boy do I have to do that a few more times to really get all of it, and that's something I look forward to.
Autumnsun
In fact, Eco might have written this book to get some cash.
Jackal

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By rags of light on December 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book, a birthday present, revived the literature I once knew well and have over the years let slip away. As an essay on the function of listing, it is extraordinary; as an anthology of Western literature it is invaluable, as an art book, it is beautiful, but as a review of what was once known and is now almost forgotten, it is priceless. Anyone who thinks great literature is out of date or corny, or thinks the day of real books is over, should hold this book in his or her hands for an hour. Its "weight," both physical and intellectual, makes a "kindle" seem flimsy and as ephemeral as an eight-track.
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42 of 57 people found the following review helpful By AB on November 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In 2007 Bompiani published a similar non-fiction work by Umberto Eco, "Dall'Albero al Labrinto: Studi Storici sul Segno e l'Interpretazione," that investigated the histories of sign and interpretation alongside the history of encyclopedistics. Its aim was to more fully examine organization as a human phenomenon. "The Infinity of Lists," I believe, continues this examination by identifying the nature of lists across time. In short, Eco appears to be following a particular trend with his recent research - one that explores our immense fascination with the organization of content and its many forms.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jose F on October 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an eclectic and fascinating trip on the meaning of lists in literature history. Eco's wit and interests are present. However, some chapters and excerpts look weakly assembled and superficial. The graphical content is rich, and sometimes outstanding, but has only an illustrative function: the book is about lists in literature. Many pictures are not even cited in the text, but may have some relation with the cited excerpts. It is not as in the volumes of History of Beauty and Ugliness, where pictorial representations where thoroughly discussed. Beware: graphical content has some overlap with "On Ugliness". Book design: beautiful, it may be a nice gift for an Eco's fan.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. craig on January 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A WONDERFUL COLLECTION OF TRIVIA AND PICTURES TO WANDER THROUGH..THIS IS A GREAT GIFT TO SOMEONE WHO LIKES TO EXPLORE THE FRINGES OF CULTURE..GOOD DENSITY AND A FUN TRIP THROUGH HISTORY..
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Seybold on January 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Where do you go to find a list, besides the grocery store...what about lists of animals, real or fictional..the list of innumerous things that you need to know or DON'T need to know about. Better yet, why do we make lists? That is the real question Mr. Eco descends upon.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Autumnsun on May 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well, seriously, who doesn't want to sound like a scholar on these reviews? Umberto Eco is some kind of genius. He's that kind of person that you either think of as mysterious or seriously confusing. My camp is right in between the two. Every time I get one of his books, I have a notebook next to me, ready to take notes. Oh and then after the first half of the first chapter, the book goes back into my bookshelf for future moments of egotistical reading.
The Infinity of Lists: An Illustrated Essay, confused me at first. From some of the other reviews that I read before ordering this book, I thought it would be a list of some of the best literature along with some pretty pictures. It is. But it's more than that. Like all of Eco's books, there seems to be some hidden message to glean from each painting, picture, pithy bit of writing...and there probably is. But that's why we buy his books. We know that he writes them, or puts them together to challenge our minds; to challenge our understanding of the world that we live in.
In short, I've read this book, but boy do I have to do that a few more times to really get all of it, and that's something I look forward to. In a few years.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emily Bercir Zimmerman on August 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Somehow it seems so appropriate that Eco would organize an exhibition and series of public programs on enumeration for the Louvre, at this time of endless list making via social media (afterall a facebook wall is nothing but an elaborate recounting of one's subjectivity in list form). The poetic of lists as seen through Eco's eyes is tremendously moving. Eco's project constitutes both a deeply thoughtful vertically study of the subject of lists, and a broad horizontal consideration of great expanses of literature from the Greeks to the present-day.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The lists can give you nightmares if you spend too much time looking at them before bed, but this book is a wonderful result of his work in the museum.
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