A Reader on Reading by Alberto Manguel

By Alberto Manguel

Publish 12 months note: First released in 2006

In this significant number of his essays, Alberto Manguel, whom George Steiner has referred to as “the Casanova of reading,” argues that the task of studying, in its broadest feel, defines our species. “We come into the realm rationale on discovering narrative in everything,” writes Manguel, “landscape, the skies, the faces of others, the pictures and phrases that our species create.” analyzing our personal lives and people of others, examining the societies we are living in and people who lie past our borders, examining the worlds that lie among the covers of a e-book are the essence of A Reader on Reading.

The thirty-nine essays during this quantity discover the crafts of studying and writing, the id granted to us by way of literature, the far-reaching shadow of Jorge Luis Borges, to whom Manguel learn as a tender guy, and the hyperlinks among politics and books and among books and bodies. The powers of censorship and highbrow interest, the paintings of translation, and people “numinous reminiscence palaces we name libraries” additionally determine during this amazing assortment. For Manguel and his readers, phrases, finally, lend coherence to the area and provide us “a few secure areas, as actual as paper and as bracing as ink,” to furnish us room and board in our passage.

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He’ll tell you,” I said. The other officer listened to Jose’s declaration in Spanish. “I don’t understand what you’re saying. Can you try repeating it in English? Aha. Yes. And what is your position at the embassy, sir? I see. ” He put down the phone. “I’m afraid that the janitor’s vouching for you isn’t sufficient,” he said. In the meantime, Peter was going through my rucksack with keen interest. He opened my tube of toothpaste, squeezed some out, and tasted it. He flicked through my copy of Siddhartha.

Usually inked in capital letters in the top left-hand corner of the box. To me (who like any devoted reader wished for an infinite story) this line promised something close to that infinity: the possibility of knowing what had happened on that other fork of the road, the one not taken, the one less in evidence, the mysterious and equally important path that led to another part of the adventurous forest. M A P PI N G T H E F O R E S T Damn braces. Bless relaxes. , the Cyrene poet Callimachus undertook the task of cataloguing the half-million volumes housed in the famous Library of Alexandria.

The encounter with my exiled friend happened in 1988; it was therefore not till I turned forty that the notion of becoming a writer appeared to me as firmly possible. Forty is a time of change, of retrieving from ancient cupboards whatever we have left behind, packed away in the dark, and of facing its latent forces. My intention was clear. That the result wasn’t successful doesn’t change the nature of my purpose. Now, at last, I wanted to write. I wanted to write a novel. I wanted to write a novel that would put into words—literary words, words like the ones that made up the books on my shelves, incandescent words—what seemed to me impossible to be spoken.

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