I had a number of comma seperated items in a string that I wanted to use as a python, e.g

string1 = "bill, ben, jack, james"

I wanted them in a python list, that is for each individual item to be treated as a string. Thus each item it  needed to be enclosed by quotes. Since there were over 200 items, I needed a way to do this in code, not by hand. It turns about it is pretty easy with the string .split method:

>>> list1 = string1.split(',')
>>> print list1
>>> ["bill", "ben", "jack", "james"]