03 May 2018

Alberto Manguel and Jorge Luis Borges

With Borges
Alberto Manguel
Telegram Books, 2006
77 pages

I first discovered Alberto Manguel's lovely writing when I read "A History of Reading", to be reviewed shortly. How I stumbled upon that book is a mystery, an Internet Mystery. One reads blogs, follows links to more blogs and review sites, and eventually some book's description grabs your full attention and you order it online. Well, that's how my reading life goes at any rate. Then having enjoyed the first Manguel book so much, I looked for more. The title "With Borges" caught my eye because I loved reading Jorge Luis Borges' works when I was in college, so I ordered that one, too.


Manguel was 16 and working in a bookshop in Buenos Aires when he first met the famous Argentine writer. The older man was blind by then, and he asked Manguel to read to him at his apartment. Manguel did so three or four times a week over a four-year period. And for the next 16 years, until Borges death in 1986, they were friends. While it is a very short book, it contains wonderful, insightful stories about Borges, his author-friends, and his thoughts on writing and writers.

A must read if you love Literature, Borges, or Manguel.

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