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The List – The Uses and Pleasures of Cataloguing - Yale Scholarship Online
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The List: The Uses and Pleasures of Cataloguing

Robert Belknap


“I am no more lonely than the Mill Brook, or a weathercock, or the north star, or the south wind, or an April shower, or a January thaw, or the first spider in a new house,” wrote Henry David Thoreau in Walden. In creating this list, and many others that appear in his writings, Thoreau was working within a little-recognized yet ancient literary tradition: the practice of listing or cataloguing. This book is the first to examine literary lists and the remarkably wide range of ways writers use them. The book first examines lists through the centuries—from Sumerian account tablets and Homer's cat ... More

Keywords: lists, catalogues, Henry David Thoreau, Sumerians, Homer, Tom Sawyer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Herman Melville

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780300103830
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300103830.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert Belknap, author

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