Manguel, Massey, and Marking Your Place

2007 Massey Lectures with Alberto ManguelMy local library is publicizing the upcoming Massey Lectures with Alberto Manguel by giving away promotional bookmarks. I picked up a few extra to give away to any Manguel fans out there. Leave a comment and I’ll be happy to pop one in the mail for you.

UPDATE: To whet your appetites further, here are the descriptions of this year’s lectures:

Nov 5: The Voice of Cassandra

“In ancient Anglo-Saxon,” says Alberto Manguel in his opening lecture, “the word for poet was maker, a term that blends the meaning of weaving words with that of building the material world.” The invention of language, he suggests, was a way of drawing us together, of finding common cause in the world; the making of stories lends words to our sense of reality.

Nov 6: The Tablets of Gilgamesh

“The Epic of Gilgamesh is a story of both a man and of a city, of how a man, King Gilgamesh, came to know who he was, and of how a city, Uruk, becam not only magnificent but just.” It’s also the story of the Other, of how we only find ourselves when we findaΒ  place for the stanger, the outsider.

Nov 7: The Bricks of Babel

“Can we undo the curse of Babel?,” asks Alberto Manguel. Dictatorship, war, famine, colonial oppression, racial persecution and ethnic cleansing shatter the imaginative construction of our identities, work to prevent us from building Babel while at the same time demanding that future Babels be built. But perhaps the gift of many tongues helps us to illuminate who we are.

Nov 8: The Books of Don Quixote

History, the story of a society, is slippery. And stories, as Don Quixote knew, grant society its identity, but they cannot be just any story: they must respond to a shared reality. They can’t be fictional inventions, in the sense of forgeries or misrepresentations; they must, in a deeply-rooted literary sense, ring true.

Nov 9: The Screens of Hal

Stories tell us that a better, happier world lies always just beyond our reach, in the fabulous Golden Age longed for by Don Quixote, or in the future, on a distant planet or a contented Earth. Stories can offer consolation for suffering and suggest ways of imagining a future that may offer us ways of remainign alive, togther, on this much abused Earth.

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13 comments on “Manguel, Massey, and Marking Your Place

  1. Kailana says:

    I wouldn't mind having some new bookmarks… and I really liked Manguel's “The Library at Night”. Count me in!
    And, does it ever suck I just now discovered he was an hour away from me 😦 Author signings/lectures are against me. :p

  2. Andrew says:

    P.S. no need for a bookmark thanks, I have a couple already.

  3. Andrew says:

    I read his book – fascinating, as I'd expect from him πŸ™‚
    I would've loved to see his lecture, but I didn't hear about it until the day after. Oh well.

  4. Sylvia says:

    OK Kailana, I'll be in touch.
    Too bad you missed him, Andrew. I wasn't feeling up to going but I wonder if I should have tried anyway. Oh well, we will get to hear it soon enough.

  5. wil says:

    Sounds interesting. I hope to listen in (it will be webcast?)

  6. Sylvia says:

    Yes indeed, you can listen live at 9pm (in whatever time zone you choose) on CBC Radio One.

  7. Imani says:

    You know me — I can't resist a bookmark. Count me in! (Should I email you the new address?)

  8. Stefanie says:

    I'd love a bookmark. Will you send to the states?

  9. Lauren says:

    I'd love to have a bookmark (or two) if you have any left. Thank you for posting this series of lectures. I'm ready for them.
    How do I send you my address?

  10. Sylvia says:

    That's the last of the bookmarks. I hope you're all enjoying Mr. Manguel!

  11. […] is my running commentary on Alberto Manguel’s City of Words lectures. I’d love to hear comments from anyone who is listening […]

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