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Monday, January 29, 2007

The Politics of Ruining a Book

Manguel ruins his book in the end with a manifesto of political proclamations against the United States and its allies. The book was written in the year the Iraq war began, so I can see how he might include some criticism, but to ruin such a potentially great book to make a political statement or to bash George Bush is simply ridiculous and irresponsible. The last third of the book is injected with a leftist diatribe that Manguel intends to forcefully link to the books he read throughout the year. I am disappointed. I wonder how books like these fall through editorial nets (perhaps they don't). I am not writing this from either side of the political spectrum; I would still hold right-conservatives to the same scrutiny. Manguel simply ruins the book and there's no excuse for it.

I am reading "Writers on Writing," a collection of the essays that appeared in "The New York Times" over a couple of years. There are two volumes of this collection so I'll be writing on individual essays and hoping to apply some of the advice to my own writing. Also, I think I am (for the first time) reading two books at the same time. The other books is a collection of short stories by Yoko Tawada, "The Bridegroom was a Dog." Most of the reading for the Tawada volume I will be doing between the hours of 11:30 and 12:10, since that is the time that I'll be most likely to be able to read without interruptions. I am really sorry for the Manguel book, really, it just doesn't make any sense to me.

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At 11:00 PM, Blogger tanabata said...

I just picked up 'The Bridegroom was a Dog', purely for the title, at a used book store a couple of weeks ago. Haven't started it yet but hope to soon.

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

What a disappointing end to the Manguel book. I hope your current two choices provide more satisfaction.


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