By Alberto Manguel
Publish yr note: First released in 2006
In this significant choice of his essays, Alberto Manguel, whom George Steiner has referred to as “the Casanova of reading,” argues that the job of studying, in its broadest experience, defines our species. “We come into the realm reason on discovering narrative in everything,” writes Manguel, “landscape, the skies, the faces of others, the pictures and phrases that our species create.” interpreting our personal lives and people of others, analyzing the societies we are living in and people who lie past our borders, analyzing the worlds that lie among the covers of a publication are the essence of A Reader on Reading.
The thirty-nine essays during this quantity discover the crafts of studying and writing, the identification granted to us by means 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 impressive assortment. For Manguel and his readers, phrases, after all, lend coherence to the realm and supply us “a few secure areas, as genuine as paper and as bracing as ink,” to supply us room and board in our passage.
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Extra info for A Reader on Reading
No reader who has ever derived pleasure from a book has much confidence in these cataloguing methods. Subject indexes, literary genres, schools of thought and style, literatures classified by nationality or race, chronological compendiums, and thematic anthologies suggest to the reader merely one of a multitude of points of view, none comprehensive, none even grazing the breadth and depth of a mysterious piece of writing. Books refuse to sit quietly on shelves: Gulliver’s Travels jumps from “Chronicles” to “Social Satire” to “Children’s Literature” and will not be faithful to any of these labels.
In other societies human sexuality was known to cover a larger spectrum. In ancient Greece and Rome, no moral distinction was made between homosexual and heterosexual love; in Japan, gay relationships were formally accepted among the samurai; in China, the emperor himself was known to have male lovers. Among the native people 34 WHO AM I? of Guatemala, gays are not seen as outsiders: “Our people,” said the native leader Rigoberta Menchú, “don’t differentiate between people who are homosexual and people who aren’t; that only happens when we go out of our society.
Endlessly . . in military . . marches; his face . . on the ten-peso . . bill . ” There was a long pause during which the journalist sat bewildered. Just as she was about to ask for an explanation of such a curious choice, Borges continued, “. . ” One summer evening, as he and Canto were, by chance, leaving together, Borges asked if he could walk her to the subway. At the station, Borges, stuttering, suggested that they might walk a little farther. An hour later they found themselves in a café on Avenida de Mayo.