By Alberto Manguel

ISBN-10: 0300163045

ISBN-13: 9780300163049

Publish 12 months note: First released in 2006

In this significant selection of his essays, Alberto Manguel, whom George Steiner has referred to as “the Casanova of reading,” argues that the job of interpreting, in its broadest experience, defines our species. “We come into the area cause 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, studying the societies we are living in and people who lie past our borders, interpreting the worlds that lie among the covers of a booklet 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 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 notable assortment. For Manguel and his readers, phrases, after all, lend coherence to the realm and provide us “a few secure locations, as actual as paper and as bracing as ink,” to provide us room and board in our passage.

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Aphra Behn, The Rover, Part 2 The fourth book of the Odyssey tells of Proteus, king of Egypt, known as “the Ancient One of the Sea,” who was able to tell the future and to change shape at will. According to one version of the story, he was the first man, imagined by the gods as a creature of endless possibilities. Like the apparent shapes of that ancient king, our desire need not be limited. Heterosexuality and homosexuality were no doubt two of those protean forms, but they are neither exclusive nor impermeable.

Success in writing (I mean, writing something good) depends on tiny, brittle things, and while it is true that genius can override all obstacles—Kafka wrote masterpieces in a corridor of his father’s hostile house and Cervantes dreamt up his Quixote in prison— mere talent requires less crowded, less constrained mental settings than those that most writers usually enjoy. The shadow needs room. And even then, nothing is promised. For the time being, the reader I am judges the writer I managed to become with amused tolerance, as he invents strategies for his new craft.

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. ” In European society, hostility against gays did not become widespread until the mid-twelfth century. ” And yet in spite of this hostility, until the nineteenth century the homosexual was not perceived as someone distinct, someone with a personality different from that of the heterosexual, someone who could be persecuted not only for a specific act contra naturam but merely for existing.

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A Reader on Reading by Alberto Manguel

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