By Alberto Manguel
At one magical rapid on your early adolescence, the web page of a book—that string of careworn, alien ciphers—shivered into which means. phrases spoke to you, gave up their secrets and techniques; at that second, complete universes opened. You turned, irrevocably, a reader. famous essayist Alberto Manguel strikes from this crucial second to discover the 6000-year-old dialog among phrases and that magician with no whom the publication will be a dull item: the reader. Manguel lingers over interpreting as seduction, as uprising, as obsession, and is going directly to hint the never-before-told tale of the reader's growth from clay capsule to scroll, codex to CD-ROM.
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Extra info for A History of Reading
G. ” During the war Forster got onto his own roundabout, broadcasting mild English propaganda to India, ridiculing Nazi “philosophy” from the early thirties onward, attacking the prison and police systems, defending the Third Program, speaking up for mass education, the rights of refugees, free concerts for the poor and art for the masses. Recognizing that “humanism has its dangers; the humanist shirks responsibility, dislikes making decisions, and is sometimes a coward,” he was anyway determined to hold faith with the “failed” liberal values so many of his peers now jettisoned.
Better, I think, to credit it to a healthy English perversity, a bloody-minded war against cliché. It’s a cliché to think liking Keats makes you cultured (Larkin and Amis defaced their college copy of The Eve of St. Agnes21), a commonplace to think submission to God incompatible with intellectual vitality. Then again, it’s hard to deny that in many of these writers a calcification occurs, playful poses become rigid attitudes. Forster feared the sea change. In the year Forster finished broadcasting, in the same BBC studios, Evelyn Waugh submits to an interviewer interested in his “notable rejection of life”: Interviewer: What do you feel is your worst fault?
He’s like us. Many people love him for it. ” But Forster was always a little too humble, a tad disingenuous. His talks are humane and charming, like everything he wrote, and on top of that, they’re good fun to read, and if not quite right for a lecture hall, they’re perfect for a lazy afternoon in an armchair. The title again, for those who missed it: The BBC Talks of E. M. Forster. 95. Three MIDDLEMARCH AND EVERYBODY HENRY & GEORGE In 1873, the young Henry James reviewed George Eliot’s Middlemarch.