24 March 2006

An Interview With Alberto Manguel

Alberto Manguel is a reader's reader. His personal library comprises over 30,000 books, and the authors he mentions casually range from Goethe to Collodi to Sayers to Shaw. It would be impossible for him to hide his erudition—it shines through in all his writing and conversation. But he manages to inspire rather than intimidate. After listening to him speak, or reading one of his works, I want to rush out and discover the books and authors that he loves—especially Jorge Luis Borges. When he's speaking we get the added benefit of being able to listen to his voice, which is musical and beautifully accented. I was very grateful, then, to learn of this interview with Manguel by Robert Birnbaum. I read it, heard Manguel's voice in my head, and had that same sensation I always get of wanting to go out and buy any number of the books that he mentions and then ignore the rest of my life until I've gone through them all, preferably twice. Via The Mumpsimus through Books, Inq.


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