Into the Looking-Glass Wood: Essays on Books, Reading, and the World

Overview

Alberto Manguel has enchanted hundreds of thousands of readers with his bestselling books, including The Dictionary of Imaginary Places. Now he has assembled a personal collection of his own essays that will enchant anyone interested in reading, writing, or the world. Through personal stories and literary reflections, in a style rich in humor and gentle scholarship, Manguel leads his readers to reflect on the links that bind the physical world to our language that describes it. The span of his attention in these ...

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Overview

Alberto Manguel has enchanted hundreds of thousands of readers with his bestselling books, including The Dictionary of Imaginary Places. Now he has assembled a personal collection of his own essays that will enchant anyone interested in reading, writing, or the world. Through personal stories and literary reflections, in a style rich in humor and gentle scholarship, Manguel leads his readers to reflect on the links that bind the physical world to our language that describes it. The span of his attention in these twenty-three essays is enthralling: from "Who Am I?," in which he recounts the first adventures of childhood reading, to "Borges in Love," a memoir of the great blind writer's passions; from his first encounters with the evils of prejudice to a meditation on the death of Che Guevara; from a tour of his library to evocations of such of his favorite writers as Cortázar and Chesterton. A voyage deep into the subversive heart of words, Into the Looking-Glass Wood is fired by the author's humanity, insatiable curiosity, and steadfast belief in the essential power, mystery, and delight of the written word.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"These are rich and various essays, ripe with interest. Manguel says that what matters most to literature is the existence of judicious readers; this collection will help to create more such."-The Financial Times
"Splendid and eloquently expressed . . . Manguel's writing at its strongest and most original."-The Times Literary Supplement
"Witty and elegant, a nice piece of book-making."-The Sunday Times (London)
From the Publisher
"These are rich and various essays, ripe with interest. Manguel says that what matters most to literature is the existence of judicious readers; this collection will help to create more such."-The Financial Times
"Splendid and eloquently expressed . . . Manguel's writing at its strongest and most original."-The Times Literary Supplement
"Witty and elegant, a nice piece of book-making."-The Sunday Times (London)
Financial Times
[Alberto Manguel] writes with ease and elegance, draws his readers in quickly, and proceeds to fascinate, inform and challenge them. . . . These are rich and various essays, ripe with interest. Manguel says that what matters most to literature is the existence of judicious readers; this collection will help to create more such.
Times Literary Supplement
Splendid and eloquently expressed...Manguel's writing at its strongest and most original.
Library Journal
This collection of 23 personal stories and literary reflections celebrates writing, books, and the world. Self-confessed bibliophile and prolific author Manguel (A History of Reading; The Dictionary of Imaginary Places) explores the connections that bind the physical world to the language that describes it. Manguel includes essays on such diverse subjects as "Borges in Love," a memoir of the great Argentine writer; the author's encounters with prejudice; politics in Argentina; and the revolutionary Che Guevara. Particularly interesting are his insights into Argentina's political history, recounted in "God's Spies." Here he points out how the writing of horrific acts shows them to be conquerable and demystifies them. In another essay, he tells of his first experiences with reading and the profound influence books have had on his life. Manguel's intricate knowledge of books shines through as do his humor and scholarship. Recommended for public and academic libraries.--Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
New Yorker
Any writer who interested this Argentine-Canadian literary critic would long to meet him: you could have the conversation of your dreams...Manguel is not only a gentleman and a scholar, but a gentleman as a scholar, offering constellations fo connected readings and insights with grace, humor and tact.
The Independent
In a modern world that assails all our senses simultaneously, Manguel's writing stands as a cool pool of reflection. . . . The big themes haunting our century are re-viewed through a literary lens. It is Manguel's erudite consumption of literature on these topics that gives an edge to his own works, and his extraordinary ability to make friends of books as well as authors.
The Spectator
[Manguel] is a slightly old-fashioned bookman who patrols the humanist lookouts in these engaging essays. . . . Manguel writes with conviction and authority. . . . Somewhere between the essayist and the autobiographer there's a real writer here, cozying up to the amorous intimacy of words.
Scotland on Sunday
Alberto Manguel is to reading what Cassanova was to sex. He is that rare, enviable creature: a man of literary passion and insight, worthy of the great writers he reads. . . . [An] elegant, sophisticated selection of essays.
The Globe and Mail
Elegantly chatty. . . Where he sings most mellifluously is within the score of the story: sharing gossip, teasing with a tale, titillating with a story-shard. His new book, unlike its precusor, which was a history of reading at large, is a history of one man's reading, an anatomy of Maguel's reading, and because reading is what he appears to love most in life, an anatomy of his loves.
The Calgary Herald
He's a model 19th century man-of-letters living on the cusp of the 21st century. Manguel's a gentle moralist and articulate champion of social justice in a era of banal greed and every-man-for-himself. . . . Full of whim, gentle humor and telling detail.
The Sunday Times (London)
Inspires compulsive nibbling until, suddenly, with no apparent effort, one has devoured the whole thing. . . Anyone who enjoys good writing will be royally entertained in Manguel's Looking-Glass Wood.
The Vancouver Sun
Alberto Manguel is the most civilized Canadian alive [and] the most intelligent reader of Latin American fiction around. . . . There's a great deal more to Looking-Glass Wood than the stunning essays upon which I've focused. Manguel writes about sex, reading, translation, pornography, politics. His meditation on the fate of books, "St. Augustine's computer," is worth alone the price of the book. . . . A wonderful journey.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156012652
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/1/2000
  • Series: Harvest Original Series
  • Edition description: 1 HARVEST
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.76 (d)

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