Packing my library

Alberto Manguel


When early this century Alberto Manguel set up a library of 35,000 books in a former presbytery in a village in the Loire Valley, he thought that he'd found a home for his books, and himself, after years of wandering around the world. But it wasn't to be. Life turned out differently and his books are now languishing in storage in Montreal.
An inverted mirror-image of Walter Benjamin's famous text, "Packing my Library" is almost a manifesto, a vehement defence against the threat of oblivion as represented by the empty bookshelves: the result of dismantling the idiosyncratic organizational system that the author of so many texts about the pleasure of reading had made into his personal intellectual atlas.
However, there is not a hint of resignation in this book. Rather, as Alberto Manguel says in his ‘Elegy and ten digressions', it is a celebration of the lucidity and wisdom of the library that continues to exist in the reader's mind, the sacredness of the word and the interplay of associations and memories that the packed-up books evoke.
This is a new adventure for the reader by an author who won the Formentor Prize this year, whose compensation for losing his personal library was the directorship, as of June last year, of the National Library of Argentina.

«A short but delicious tale»
El confidencial. Spain

«The melancholy act of packing up his library in France inspires one of Alberto Manguel's most intimate works to date»
Babelia- El País

«His work is one of the most lucid explorations of the organic history of the universal library in world literature»
Jury of the Premio Formentor de las Letras 2017


PUBLISHED BY: Spain ALIANZA |  Arabic AL SAQI | English world rights YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS | French ACTES SUD | Germany FISCHER | Mexico ALMADIA | Portugal TINTA DA CHINA | Turkey YAPI KREDI

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