An Ambitious Prose Poem re: Literary Lists

How to write a list of 7 things:

If the world has taught us any seven things:
1) People love lists.
2) I’m lousy at lists.
3) Writing a list is tantamount to saying, “I have had several complete thoughts on a single topic”. And who can bear listening to someone like that?
… and I can’t go on. Since Danielewski effectively destroyed the list for any lesser list-maker, I’ve given up on them. Who could compete? Really. No one. Let’s move forward from Joyce and catalog just a few:

Borges had his lists that raised ontological questions.
Brautigan had his lists that didn’t.
Amis is a skilled player, spouting lists as if he were reciting poetry, but he’s an homage-payer; lists aren’t really his game. His lists are like garden fountains: they’re mostly decorative.
David Foster Wallace had a penchant for it (as we are all well aware) but his lists were dry, parched things, mostly scientific.
Eco doesn’t really make lists; his calendar is simply quite full, thank you.

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Posted on October 27, 2011, in Tree. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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