Photographs by Kevin Rabalais
Last week, we spent a morning in good book conversation with Alberto Manguel, novelist, essayist, anthologist, translator and all around gentleman of letters. The quintessential writer on the act (and the joy) of reading, Manguel penned its essential history, aptly titled A History of Reading. His other numerous and enthralling books on literature include The Library at Night, A Reader on Reading and, most recently, Curiosity. He is also the author of the novels News From a Foreign Country Came, Stevenson Under the Palm Trees and All Men are Liars. As a young man, Manguel read to Jorge Luis Borges, one of the greatest writers never to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature and, for a period, director of the National Library of the Argentine Republic, a position Manguel now holds. “Every reader is an anthologist, but few carry the mania for selecting to the extreme of compiling a book,” Manguel writes in “Sweet Are the Uses of Anthology”:
After our conversation, we accompanied Manguel to the State Library of Victoria for a tour. This installment of Sacred Trespasses includes photographs from our visit to the library and also some of our favorite passages from Manguel’s work.
Consider it part of our ever-growing and evolving commonplace book of Alberto Manguel’s provoking and comforting prose.