Into the Looking Glass Wood: Essays on Words and the World (Bloomsbury Paperbacks)

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9780747545934: Into the Looking Glass Wood: Essays on Words and the World (Bloomsbury Paperbacks)
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In these essays, Alberto Manguel discusses the nature of books and literature as a moral imperative and explores the consequences of society's betrayal of its readers and writers. He covers writers such as Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar and G.K. Chesterton, as well as Che Guevara and Goethe.

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Review:

Following his celebrated A History of Reading, Alberto Manguel has collected a number of his powerful and various essays on the topic of words and world. Linked by scenes from Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass--a reading treasured since Manguel's childhood--these essays range widely: from "Borges in Love" to "The Death of Che Guevara" (one of the most impressive essays here), from the autobiographical "On Being Jewish" ("Am I a Jew?") to "Browsing in the Rag-and-Bone Shop" (an indictment of the "literary pretensions" of Bret Easton Ellis's notorious American Psycho. Certain themes run through the book: the role, and ethics, of reading and writing in a world so often violent, or murderous; the exploration of literature and/as prejudice (Chinua Achebe's assessment of Conrad's Heart of Darkness as a "racist" text); the problem of literary catalogues: the difficulty not only of knowing what to read (the question of reviewing) but, more urgently, how to read. As a reader, Manguel sets a beguiling example, dwelling in the land of books, laying down the wager of words to "give the world coherence"; as a writer, he uses those words to challenge his readers to read--more and differently. --Vicky Lebeau

Review:

"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)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780676972429: Into the Looking-Glass Wood: Essays on Words and the World

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ISBN 10:  067697242X ISBN 13:  9780676972429
Publisher: Vintage Books Canada, 1999
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9780747543428: Into the Looking Glass Wood: Essays on Words and the World

Blooms..., 1999
Hardcover

9780676971354: Into The Looking-Glass Wood : Essays On Words And The World

Knopf ..., 1998
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