Confessions of a Young Novelist

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Confessions of a Young Novelist (2011) contains four essays that were originally delivered as lectures through The Richard Ellman Lectures in Modern Literature at Emory University.

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Contents

Writing from Left to Right

Author, Text, and Interpreters

Some Remarks on Fictional Characters

My Lists

Outline

  • "It is obvious why people make practical lists. But why do they make poetic ones?"
  • Eco discusses various categories of lists, examples from literature.
  • "The only true purpose of a good list is to convey the idea of infinity and the vertigo of the etcetera." (highlights mine)
  • flatus vocis - the pure pleasure of the sound - and lists
  • to convey the ineffable
  • examples from Borges, Joyce, and Eco's own novels.
  • Properties vs essence - pretty vague stuff.
  • Excess
  • Chaotic lists, chaotic enumeration
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