July 01, 2013

Making lists

See large list on large blackboard on the left of the above picture.
Oliver Jeffers is a mad buck for writing lists as you can see in the image above. On the writing of lists he recently said:
'As you can see, I like to write a lot of things on lists and then take great pleasure in crossing said things off said lists.'
I'm also quite the list keeper, a man of nomenclature who lives by list making and stroking stuff off the said lists. Such a sense of doing comes with making and completing lists that I've always wondered if there is more to making lists than just writing and rubbing out. Maria Popova on Brainpickings has made some beautiful observations here.

Maria Popova also pointed to Umberto Eco who said lists are the making of culture:
"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 least according to Mozart’s librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte. We also have completely practical lists — the shopping list, the will, the menu — that are also cultural achievements in their own right.” 
George Washington was another list-lover as you can read here. Maria Popova also quote Susan Sonstag here:
 “I perceive value, I confer value, I create value, I even create — or guarantee — existence. Hence, my compulsion to make ‘lists’.”
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