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A Reader on Reading Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
not something you pick up between programmes;
as valid a form of nourishment as any protein/vitamin;
not merely entertainment (although it can be);
truth, even if the form taken is fiction.
"We come into the world intent on finding narrative in everything, in the landscape, in the skies, in the faces of others, and, of course, in the images and words that our species create".Read more ›
Only four stars here, though, compared with the wondrously seraphic and Browneian *Library at NIght* and the hardly less majestic *HIstory of Reading*. Why? Unfortunately this is a publisher's potboiler, recycling some old material (yes, most of which is very good). Manguel has worked hard, though, to bring everything together, rewriting and adding an epigraph from Carroll's Alice stories to each essay. The worst thing about it - leaving aside one or two leaden and sententious Guardian-style political assertions (as if the expression of worthy opinion ipso facto makes the world a better place) - is the title, which is deliberately mendacious. In Manguel's capable hands, a reader (especially Manguel) writing about reading would be a wonderful self-reflexive project, pulsing with life and intelligence. But this is not what this title is, though you can see the publishers nudging themselves in the ribs and congratulating themselves on being 'clever'.Read more ›
The English intellectual doesn't know quite what to make of the rest of the world's infatuation with Alice. Is it that foreigners have never heard the word twee or simply that we absorbed Alice along with Moley and Milne with our mother's milk and therefore never consciously had to 'read' her? Or (perish the thought) is her appeal partly class-based and therefore somehow tarnished in the world Blair left us? Pooh has been 'democratized' (read: ruined) by Disney and The Wind in the Willows by the feeble stage version Toad of Toad Hall* (Toad's a SUBPLOT! It's like A Dance to the Music of Time being called Widmerpool. Next, Widmerpool! The Musical?) And what about the mortal blow dealt The Railway Children by that sugary film (yes I know everyone younger than me loves it and had a pash on Jenny A, but I remember the FIRST (live) TV adaptation of the early 50s - and how many of you out there have READ THE BOOK anyway?) Middle-class icons all - but in the past available (through our great libraries) to ALL children with the hunger. And then there's Alice, who has the inestimable advantage of being an independent female.Read more ›