Volume 55, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1876-9071
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5729



This article studies the complex relation between literature and knowledge by focusing on the use of lists in poetry. The list is a simple yet functional tool for the organization of information. It moreover guides the memory and helps to structure our lives and the world around us. The list form is, in brief, dominantly present in daily life. Lists are therefore also often integrated in literature. In a literary context the list can both enhance plausibility and recognition or summon a sphere of alienation and enchantment.

The Dutch author K. Schippers often uses lists and enumerations in his work. Although the technique of enumeration is often regarded as essential for the medium of poetry, the use of lists is a rather atypical poetic technique. Schippers’ poetical lists are moreover positioned on the verge of the literary: they often seem to be both pragmatic and literary at the same time. Using the medium of the list Schippers reflects on cognition and cunningly defies the idea of our ‘natural’ perception of reality. That way Schippers’ poems often remind of a laboratory in which concepts such as language, perception and knowledge are cautiously analyzed. This article demonstrates how Schippers cleverly combines both scientific and literary effects in order to reveal new insights about the interaction between literature, art, science and knowledge.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Barbarber; Dutch poetry; knowledge; lists; literary lists; neorealism; poetry; Schippers
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