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The greedy reader

Seductive essays from Alberto Manguel
by
May 2010, no. 321

A Reader on Reading by Alberto Manguel

Yale University Press, $49.95 hb, 314 pp

The greedy reader

Seductive essays from Alberto Manguel
by
May 2010, no. 321

During 2007 I became enamoured of podcasting. The Canadian Broadcasting Commission’s Big Ideas and Elaine Wachtel’s Writers and Company were among my favourite programs and I would podcast these each week, irrespective of the topic or the interviewee. Thus I heard Alberto Manguel’s CBC Massey Lectures, a series of five wonderful presentations collectively titled ‘The City of Words’. It was not simply the content of these lectures; Manguel’s delivery is lyrical, intimate, andante and almost shockingly seductive. These lectures worked on me as reading does, drawing me in and then spinning me out to numerous other readings. Some of the books prompted by the lectures were rereadings, such as Alfred Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz and Borges’s stories others were new to me, and some, including Gilgamesh, had long been on my must-read list. Manguel provided the necessary nudge.

Andrea Goldsmith reviews 'A Reader on Reading' by Alberto Manguel

A Reader on Reading

by Alberto Manguel

Yale University Press, $49.95 hb, 314 pp

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