Monday Miscellany: Lists Edition

Top 7 Literary Cities in Europe

Edinburgh, Scotland explores “the top seven European cities for literary tourists”:

  1. Edinburgh, Scotland
  2. Dublin, Ireland
  3. London, England
  4. Paris, France
  5. St. Petersburg, Russia
  6. Stockholm, Sweden
  7. Norwich, England

A List of the Greatest Lists in Literature

Speaking of lists, The Atlantic offers this one: “our favorite lists in literature, from short to impossibly long, from lists that catalogue items to those that follow the train of imagination. Check out the literary lists we think are the funniest, most revealing, most interesting, or flat-out strangest” from the following works:

  • The White Album, Joan Didion
  • I Remember, Joe Brainard
  • Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
  • Ulysses, James Joyce
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, Italo Calvino
  • Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding
  • The Hundred Brothers, Donald Antrim
  • “Project for a Trip to China,” from I, etcetera, Susan Sontag
  • “Descriptions of Literature,” Gertrude Stein
  • Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, James Agee
  • Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
  • Bleak House, Charles Dickens
  • Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  • “The Glass Mountain,” from Sixty Stories, Donald Barthelme

Listing Explanations for the List of Literary Lists

Inspired by The Atlantic‘s list, Elizabeth Freudenthal, self-described “Thinker for Hire,” asks:

Did you notice that most of the lists are from 20th century works? (Except Dickens: the exception to every rule. Amiright?)

What is it about the 20th/21st centuries that compel writers to use so many dang lists?

Read the five reasons she offers for why 20th- and 21th-century writers resort to listing in their writing.

A History of Sisters in Fiction, From ‘Little Women’ to ‘Sweet Valley High’

And here’s a final list, again courtesy of The Atlantic: “The March brood, the Wakefield sisters, and eight other examples of sometimes-sweet, sometimes-squabbling literary siblings

  • The Dashwood sisters from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  • Beezus and Ramona from the Ramona series, Beverly Cleary
  • The Wakefield sisters from the Sweet Valley series by Francine Pascal
  • The Marsh sisters from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Bennet sisters from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Cinderella and wicked stepsisters
  • Elly and Iphy Binewski from Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
  • The Chance sisters from Wise Children by Angela Carter
  • The Blackwood sisters from We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • The Chase sisters in The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

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