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 studying, in its broadest experience, defines our species. “We come into the area motive 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 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 interpreting 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 striking assortment. For Manguel and his readers, phrases, finally, lend coherence to the area and provide us “a few secure areas, as actual as paper and as bracing as ink,” to furnish us room and board in our passage.
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Additional info for A Reader on Reading
57 Emma is a quadruple victim: exploited by Rutschinski, beaten by a customer, further mishandled by the authorities whose job is supposedly to help her, and also "victimized" by the narrator. The narrative victimization is partly the ritual that allows her to become a redemptress (it is she who earns the money, tries to recruit a lawyer, and comforts the widow Nasske at the end), but partly also an excuse to describe her brutalization in graphic detail. The style of stone creates an "objective" framework for such exploitation.
She pulled herself up, panting, with him right behind her with the wash cloth. She staggered over to the wall, pulled at the latch of the medicine cabinet, pressed her face against the glass, smearing it. " (E 143) His expressions of disgust approach a climax as he unconsciously mimes a rape: He forced her down with his broad torso, pressed her knees down, held her against the table top with his encircling arms. He ground his teeth; his bald head was moist and shiny with sweat. "Let go of my shirt, you filthy pig.
Get a move on'" (E 146). The fierce, unblinking Sachlichkeit of the story conforms to the narrative ideals of the Berlin Program, yet two contrasting narrative modes interrupt the primary narrative at critical points. One is a wickedly parodied Romanticism. " The goldfinch who hops about among its branches, however, leaves the reader in no doubt about a Romantic invasion of the story, for after a preliminary "Kivitt, kivitt, tsvrr" it unexpectedly breaks into song: "Green is the May. With a bouquet of lovely flowerets bedecked are hill and vale.