By Alberto Manguel
At one magical quick on your early formative years, the web page of a book—that string of harassed, alien ciphers—shivered into that means. phrases spoke to you, gave up their secrets and techniques; at that second, complete universes opened. You grew to become, 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 out whom the ebook will be a dull item: the reader. Manguel lingers over studying as seduction, as uprising, as obsession, and is going directly to hint the never-before-told tale of the reader's development from clay capsule to scroll, codex to CD-ROM.
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Extra info for A History of Reading
A brief summary of the narrative like this is bound to represent the actions of the participants as moving to some conclusion upon which we are to agree, but with Chrétien it has to be admitted that the rights and wrongs of the matter are often elusive: the women in the audience might think that Erec’s behaviour towards his beloved wife was unnecessarily severe or even misguided. The character of the new Arthurian romance is well illustrated in Erec. Such romances are rich in joustings and tournaments, in which the hero will often appear incognito so as to be able to win new honour.
P. 212) Later (much later) Guenevere causes him much grief by seeming to reproach him (though she claims afterwards it was only in jest) for ever having thought of delaying for even two steps. On another occasion, in order to determine that the unknown knight who bears down all-comers is really her lover, she sends command that he is to ‘do his worst’ in the tournament, knowing that only Lancelot would be obedient to his lady to the point of stooping to such shame and 28 The Romancing of the Arthurian Story dishonour.
4 If the defeated combatant is lucky, that is, for otherwise he will not even get the chance to do this because he will already have been cloven to the shoulder or the navel or some other ﬁnal-sounding part of his anatomy. The great narrative achievement of the prose Lancelot, and of the much shorter Queste and Mort Artu, which are integral as sequels, is to The European Flourishing of Arthurian Romance 47 make Lancelot the convincingly central protagonist of the whole story, with Arthur now a subordinate ﬁgure.
A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel