The Infinity of Lists, By Umberto Eco

 

Following his anthologies of pictures and words, the gorgeous On Beauty and the startling On Ugliness, the Italian polymath has turned to the taxonomy of things.

The astounding illustrations range from Bosch and mass martyrdoms to Richard Dadd's fairyland, and libraries.

To complement the bestiaries, reliquaries and cabinets of curiosities are literary lists: Calvino's invisible cities, angels and devils, the buses of Perec's Paris.

This vertiginous assembly must be one of the most tumultuous books every concocted: glorious, dazzling, nightmarish and mad.

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