An interview with Lulah Ellender, author of Elisabeth’s Lists: A Life Between the Lines

Lulah Ellender, author of Elisabeth’s Lists: A Life Between the Lines (Granta, 2018), met her grandmother through the lists she left behind. The book reconstructs from lists the life of Lulah’s grandmother Elisabeth, who died when Lulah’s mother was nine years old. Elisabeth started writing her curious book of lists after marrying a diplomat in the 1930s. These lists, which provide glimpses into Elisabeth’s life and mind, offer Lulah a starting point for exploring the life of a grandmother she never met. The following is a conversation between Lulah Ellender and the editors of Listology.

Continue reading “An interview with Lulah Ellender, author of Elisabeth’s Lists: A Life Between the Lines”

Two Lists of Labors in Honor of Labor Day

by Martha Rust

Today is Labor Day in the United States, a holiday that celebrates laborers and the labor movement on the first Monday in September. As Wikipedia explains in a quotable list, Labor Day honors “the contributions that workers have made to the development, growth, endurance, strength, security, prosperity, productivity, laws, sustainability, persistence, structure, and well-being of the country.”[1] In addition to honoring work generally, Labor Day heralds the beginning of a new school year and the return of students and teachers to the labor of teaching and learning. While the American calendar thus pays tribute to labor annually, the western medieval calendar honored it monthly, observing a wider array of labors than its modern American counterpart. Continue reading “Two Lists of Labors in Honor of Labor Day”

The Story of Theatrical Lists

by Kerstin Fest

In the theatre we encounter stories, first and foremost those written by playwrights and acted out on stage. But there are also stories produced behind and beyond the stage.  Gaining awareness of these secondary stories and piecing them together helps one study and understand the theatre. These background stories are especially important when studying the theatre of the past considering that the more ephemeral elements of performances, such as actors’ body language, the audience’s reaction or just the overall atmosphere in the theatre on any given evening, are no longer readily accessible. There are, however, documents that offer some insight into the complex system of the theatre. Often these documents appear in the form of lists, and these lists allow us to reconstruct the secondary stories that convert plays into productions.

Continue reading “The Story of Theatrical Lists”

ERC Starting Grant Project on Lists in Literature and Culture at the University of Freiburg

by Sarah Link and Anne Rueggemeier

“Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc

Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu falls, Rock Around the Clock” …

Some of us might first feel the rhythmic pattern of the words, others try to concentrate on individual names and connect them to events. Whatever your reactions to these words from Billy Joel’s “We didn’t start the fire”, it shows in a nutshell many of the cultural, poetic, cognitive and epistemological characteristics that make it so attractive to study lists. And lists are everywhere: shopping lists, to-do lists, bucket lists, rankings, CVs, 1000 places to see before you die, English seminar reading lists and, of course, the sheer infinity of the list encountered, for example, in the local library catalogue. Continue reading “ERC Starting Grant Project on Lists in Literature and Culture at the University of Freiburg”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑