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6 Quotes From Author Umberto Eco On Why People Love Lists

In this interview about his upcoming exhibition at the Louvre, the renowned Italian author discusses how lists have always been an important part of history and culture.

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3. "In "Ulysses," James Joyce describes how his protagonist, Leopold Bloom, opens his drawers and all the things he finds in them. I see this as a literary list, and it says a lot about Bloom."

4. "At first, we think that a list is primitive and typical of very early cultures... But, in cultural history, the list has prevailed over and over again. It is by no means merely an expression of primitive cultures."

5. "... it took naturalists 80 years to come up with a definition of a platypus. They found it endlessly difficult to describe the essence of this animal. So what did that definition look like? It was a list, a list of characteristics."

6. "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."

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