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In this major collection of his essays, Alberto Manguel, whom George Steiner has called "the Casanova of reading," argues that the activity of reading, in its broadest sense, defines our species. "We come into the world intent on finding narrative in everything," writes Manguel, "landscape, the skies, the faces of others, the images and words that our species create." Reading our own lives and those of others, reading the societies we live in and those that lie beyond our borders, reading the worlds that lie between the covers of a book are the essence ofA Reader on Reading. The thirty-nine essays in this volume explore the crafts of reading and writing, the identity granted to us by literature, the far-reaching shadow of Jorge Luis Borges, to whom Manguel read as a young man, and the links between politics and books and between books and our bodies. The powers of censorship and intellectual curiosity, the art of translation, and those "numinous memory palaces we call libraries," also figure in this remarkable collection. For Manguel and his readers, words, in spite of everything, lend coherence to the world and offer us "a few safe places, as real as paper and as bracing as ink," to grant us room and board in our passage.
Alberto Manguel is one of the world's great readers. He is a member of PEN, a Guggenheim Fellow, and an Officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters. He has been the recipient of numerous prizes, including the Prix Médicis in essays for A History of Reading, and the McKitterick Prize for his novel News from a Foreign Country Came. Among his most recent books is The Library at Night, also published by Yale University Press. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages.
Table of Contents
|Who Am I?|
|A Reader in the Looking-Glass Wood||p. 3|
|Room for the Shadow||p. 11|
|On Being Jewish||p. 22|
|Meanwhile, in Another Part of the Forest||p. 26|
|The Further off from England||p. 37|
|Homage to Proteus||p. 42|
|The Lesson Of The Master|
|Borges in Love||p. 47|
|Borges and the Longed-For Jew||p. 62|
|Faking It||p. 66|
|The Death of Che Guevara||p. 79|
|The Blind Bookkeeper||p. 86|
|The Perseverance of Truth||p. 95|
|AIDS and the Poet||p. 104|
|The Full Stop||p. 115|
|In Praise of Words||p. 117|
|A Brief History of the Page||p. 120|
|The Voice That Says "I"||p. 128|
|Final Answers||p. 137|
|What Song the Sirens Sang||p. 141|
|The Ideal Reader|
|NotesTowards a Definition of the Ideal Reader||p. 151|
|How Pinocchio Learned to Read||p. 155|
|Candide in Sanssouci||p. 164|
|The Gates of Paradise||p. 172|
|Time and the Doleful Knight||p. 182|
|Saint Augustine's Computer||p. 187|
|Books As Business|
|Reading White for Black||p. 201|
|The Secret Sharer||p. 207|
|Honoring Enoch Soames||p. 214|
|Jonah and the Whale||p. 218|
|The Legend of the Dodos||p. 227|
|Crime And Punishment|
|In Memoriam||p. 231|
|God's Spies||p. 237|
|Once Again, Troy||p. 248|
|Art and Blasphemy||p. 251|
|At the Mad Hatter's Table||p. 254|
|The Numinous Library|
|Notes Towards a Definition of the Ideal Library||p. 267|
|The Library of the Wandering Jew||p. 270|
|The Library as Home||p. 278|
|The End of Reading||p. 282|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|