24 November 2009


The following is an exercise inspired by Umberto Eco's guest curation at the Louvre, on view in Paris through December 13, 2009. In a fascinating interview with SPIEGEL, Eco attests to the "irresistible magic" of lists and explains the paradoxical manner in which the list is both a liberating and limiting tool, used to express the infinite in a finite way. Here's a cool video featuring Eco and his interesting take on lists.

A List of Lists: Men Describing Qualities of Women

1. Cake, "Short Skirt, Long Jacket"
I want a girl
with a mind like a diamond
who knows what's best
who gets up early
who stays up late
with fingernails that shine like justice
who's fast and thorough and sharp as a tack
with a short skirt and a long jacket
    2. Kings of Leon, "Milk"
    She saw my comb-over
    Her hourglass body
    She had problems with drinking milk and being school-tardy
    She'll loan you her toothbrush
    She'll bartend your party

    3. Bob Dylan, "Just Like a Woman"
    She takes just like a woman, yes, she does

    She makes love just like a woman, yes, she does

    And she aches just like a woman

    But she breaks just like a little girl.

    4. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, "Home"
    Well, hot and heavy, pumpkin pie,
    Chocolate candy, Jesus Christ,
    Ain't nothing please me more than you

    5. Tom Jones, "She's a Lady"
    Well she knows what I'm about,
    She can take what I dish out and that's not easy
    Well she knows me through and through,
    She knows just what to do, and how to please me
    She's a lady. Whoa, whoa, whoa, she's a lady

    6. Elton John, "Tiny Dancer"
    Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band
    Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you'll marry a music man
    Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand
    And now she's in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand

    7. The Rolling Stones, "You Got the Silver"
    You got my heart, you my soul
    You got the silver, you the gold
    You got the diamonds from the mine,
    That's alright, it'll buy some time

    Perhaps a list is the best way to approximate je ne se quois ...?


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