By Alberto Manguel
Publish yr note: First released in 2006
In this significant number of his essays, Alberto Manguel, whom George Steiner has known as “the Casanova of reading,” argues that the job of interpreting, in its broadest experience, defines our species. “We come into the area reason on discovering narrative in everything,” writes Manguel, “landscape, the skies, the faces of others, the photographs and phrases that our species create.” examining our personal lives and people of others, examining the societies we are living in and those who lie past our borders, examining 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 analyzing and writing, the identification granted to us through 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 area and supply us “a few secure locations, as genuine as paper and as bracing as ink,” to provide us room and board in our passage.
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Extra resources for A Reader on Reading
On the vaporous webbing of such a past, a past that blesses all Jews with a multitudinous family far in time and vast in space, younger Jews sometimes feel they are nothing but spectators. Watching my grandmother light the Shabbat candles, say the ritual prayers as her hands drew opposing circles over the startled light, I felt no connection to the dark, ancient places of wood and winter mist and ancient languages from which she had come. She was my grandmother, but her existence started and ended in my present; she rarely spoke of other ancestors or of the place where she was born, so that in my mythology her brief, piecemeal stories had far less bearing on my life than the landscapes of Grimm and Alice.
Which men and women fulfilled certain specific roles, dressed in specific ways, and reacted in a specific manner, and the questioning of the necessity of these roles and styles was seen as deviant—and therefore wrong. Today, some of these perceptions have changed, but the changes have been mostly superficial. Beneath the apparently tolerant manners of Grant’s new audiences, the same traditional standards continue to rule and the same old discomfort continues to be felt. The historical origins of this meaning of the word gay are somewhat dubious.
The year of the Beatles’ last LP I left Paris, where I had been living happily for a year or so, and settled for a few months in London, sharing a house with three other guys and paying five pounds a week. My Argentinean passport made it impossible for me to get a work permit in Europe, so I made a living selling painted leather belts, which I hawked on Carnaby Street and later in a store called Mr. Fish. My hour of glory came when Mick Jagger Himself bought one of my belts and wore it onstage during a concert.