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Download A Reader on Reading by Alberto Manguel PDF

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 task of examining, in its broadest experience, defines our species. “We come into the realm purpose on discovering narrative in everything,” writes Manguel, “landscape, the skies, the faces of others, the pictures and phrases that our species create.” studying our personal lives and people of others, interpreting the societies we are living in and people 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 id 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, finally, lend coherence to the realm and provide us “a few secure areas, 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

Sample text

Am I a Jew? Who am I? On Being Jewish 25 Alice, a human child, and the fawn, one of the hunted, echo this last question, and like me are tempted to answer it not with words born from what they know themselves to be but with words coined by those who stand outside and point. Every group that is the object of prejudice has this to say: we are the language in which we are spoken, we are the images in which we are recognized, we are the history we are condemned to remember because we have been barred from an active role in the present.

They hid behind the name of a literary woman in whose loyalty they believed and submitted the manuscript under the title Luz era su nombre (Light Was Her Name), which was unanimously awarded the first prize. Unfortunately, artistic friendships being what they are, the literary woman betrayed them, the plot was revealed, and the conspiring siblings were ostracized from every literary salon in Buenos Aires. Partly out of spite and partly out of a misguided fondness for Russian literature, the Cantos joined the Argentinean Communist Party (which, Ernesto Sábato once said, was indistinguishable from the Conservative Party because most of its senile members attended its meetings asleep).

These individuals of assumed identity, the inheritors of a suffering to which they have 22 On Being Jewish 23 not been personally subjected, Finkielkraut, with a flair for the mot juste, calls “imaginary” or “armchair” Jews. I am struck by how useful this notion is to address a question that troubles me: How does the perception of who I am affect my perception of the world around me? How important is it for Alice to know who she is (the Victorian child that the world perceives her to be) when wandering through the Looking-Glass Wood?

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