By Alberto Manguel
Within the culture of A historical past of Reading, this ebook is an account of Manguel's astonishment on the sort, good looks and endurance of our efforts to form the realm and our lives, such a lot significantly via anything virtually as outdated as studying itself: libraries. The Library at evening starts with the layout and building of Alberto Manguel's personal library at his apartment in western France -- a procedure that increases complicated questions about his earlier and his interpreting behavior, in addition to broader ones concerning the nature of different types, catalogues, structure and identity.
Thematically equipped and wonderfully illustrated, this publication considers libraries as treasure troves and architectural areas; it seems to be on them as autobiographies in their vendors and as statements of nationwide id. It examines small own libraries and libraries that all started as philanthropic ventures, and analyzes the endless promise -- and defects -- of digital ones. It compares varied tools of categorization (and what they suggest) and libraries that experience equipped up unintentionally in place of by way of unsleeping direction.
In half the reason for this is that this can be concerning the library at evening, now not throughout the day: this ebook takes in what occurs after the lighting exit, while the area is dozing, whilst books develop into the rightful vendors of the library and the reader is the interloper. Then all daylight hours order is upended: one ebook calls to a different around the cabinets, and new alliances are created throughout time and area. And so, in addition to the simplest layout for a analyzing room and the make-up of Robinson Crusoe's library, this ebook dwells on extra "nocturnal" topics: fictional libraries like these carried by way of count number Dracula and Frankenstein's monster; shadow libraries of misplaced and censored books; imaginary libraries of books no longer but written.
The Library at Night is an interesting voyage in the course of the brain of 1 our so much cherished males of letters. it truly is a call for participation into his reminiscence and titanic wisdom of books and civilizations, and all through -- although usually implicitly -- it's also a passionate defence of literacy, of the original pleasures of examining, of the significance of the booklet. up to the rest, The Library at evening reminds us of what a library stands for: the opportunity of illumination, of a higher course for our society and for us as contributors. That wish too, on the shut, is changed by means of whatever that matches this own and eclectic publication even greater: anything extra fragile, and evanescent than illumination, even though simply as vital.
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Extra info for The Library at Night
S artre's principal philosophic work, L'Etre et le neant ( B eing and Nothingness ) , reflects this fascination . It seeks to translate or, rather, modulate into French the opaque strength of Heideggerian Germ an. Currently , the French school of psychoan alysis , under J acques Lacan , and the French school of semiotics, led by J acques Derrida , are trying to achieve in theii own tongue Heidegger's etymologi c al immersion . The poetry of Celan is shot through with Heideggerian neologisms and word welding.
Aesthetic insights. It imites a re\·aluation of certain as pects of Aristotelian and Scholastic logic and rhetoric. _her contains nor implies any ethics. Heidegger was. himself, peremptory on this point. He wholly repudiated attempts, notably by the � l arburg theologians and by cer tain humanist-existentialists in France, to deri\ e any ethi cal principles or methodologies from his works. He defined ethics such , for example. as we find them in Kant and such as we can legitimately infer them from Hegelian his toricism.
Thus we know, roughly at least, what is meant by the proposition that J. L . Austin was "a pro fessional philosopher," while Albert Camus, many of whose writings m ay be of overt philosophic content and interest, was not. My own field is that of the study of langu age, of its relations to literature on the one h and and to the history of ideas and society on the other. Two German term s , for neither of which English has an equiv alent, Sprachphilosoph and Kulturkritiker, more or less cover the ground .
The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel