The Library at Night Alberto Manguel
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- Publication date:
- 17 Apr 2009
- 384 pages: 229 x 140 x 28mm
- 76 black-&-white illustrations
Inspired by the process of creating a library for his fifteenth-century home near the Loire in France, Alberto Manguel, the acclaimed writer on books and reading, has taken up the subject of libraries. 'Libraries', he says, 'have always seemed to me pleasantly mad places, and for as long as I can remember I've been seduced by their labyrinthine logic'. In this personal, deliberately unsystematic, and wide-ranging book, he offers a captivating meditation on the meaning of libraries. "Manguel", a guide of irrepressible enthusiasm, conducts a unique library tour that extends from his childhood bookshelves to the 'complete' libraries of the Internet, from Ancient Egypt and Greece to the Arab world, from China and Rome to Google.He ponders the doomed library of Alexandria as well as the personal libraries of Charles Dickens, Jorge Luis Borges, and others. He recounts stories of people who have struggled against tyranny to preserve freedom of thought - the Polish librarian who smuggled books to safety as the Nazis began their destruction of Jewish libraries; the Afghani bookseller who kept his store open through decades of unrest. Oral 'memory libraries' kept alive by prisoners, libraries of banned books, the imaginary library of Count Dracula, the library of books never written - Manguel illuminates the mysteries of libraries as no other writer could. With scores of wonderful images throughout, "The Library at Night" is a fascinating voyage through Manguel's mind, memory, and vast knowledge of books and civilizations.
Read more about Albert Manguel, writer, translator and editor.
"'... crowded with memorable tales of reading as rescue, as solace, as liberation, in times of want, fear or tyranny... The Library at Night revels in the physical pleasure of drifting and dipping through the Gutenberg galaxy of ink-on-paper books.' Boyd Tonkin interview with Alberto Manguel, The Independent 'Books jump out of their jackets when Manguel opens them and dance in delight as they make contact with his ingenious, voluminous brain. He is not the keeper of a silent cemetery, but a master of bibliographical revels.' Peter Conrad, The Observer"