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Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – Oktober 1998


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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 162 Seiten
  • Verlag: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc (Oktober 1998)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0374148600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374148607
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15 x 2,1 x 19,7 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.7 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (44 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 207.412 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Produktbeschreibungen

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The subtitle of Anne Fadiman's slim collection of essays is Confessions of a Common Reader, but if there is one thing Fadiman is not, it's common. In her previous work of nonfiction, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, she brought both skill and empathy to her balanced exploration of clashing cultures and medical tragedy. The subject matter here is lighter, but imbued with the same fine prose and big heart. Ex Libris is an extended love letter to language and to the wonders it performs. Fadiman is a woman who loves words; in "The Joy of Sesquipedalians" (very long words), she describes an entire family besotted with them: "When I was growing up, not only did my family walk around spouting sesquipedalians, but we viewed all forms of intellectual competition as a sacrament, a kind of holy water as it were, to be slathered on at every opportunity." From very long words it's just a short jump to literature, and Fadiman speaks joyfully of books, book collecting, and book ownership ("In my view, nineteen pounds of old books are at least nineteen times as delicious as one pound of fresh caviar"). In "Marrying Libraries" Fadiman describes the emotionally fraught task of merging her collection with her husband's: "After five years of marriage and a child, George and I finally resolved that we were ready for the more profound intimacy of library consolidation. It was unclear, however, how we were to find a meeting point between his English-garden approach and my French-garden one." Perhaps some marriages could not have stood the strain of such an ordeal, but for this one, the merging of books becomes a metaphor for the solidity of their relationship.

Over the course of 18 charming essays Fadiman ranges from the "odd shelf" ("a small, mysterious corpus of volumes whose subject matter is completely unrelated to the rest of the library, yet which, upon closer inspection reveals a good deal about its owner") to plagiarism ("the more I've read about plagiarism, the more I've come to think that literature is one big recycling bin") to the pleasures of reading aloud ("When you read silently, only the writer performs. When you read aloud, the performance is collaborative"). Fadiman delivers these essays with the expectation that her readers will love and appreciate good books and the power of language as much as she does. Indeed, reading Ex Libris is likely to bring up warm memories of old favorites and a powerful urge to revisit one's own "odd shelf" pronto. --Alix Wilber

Pressestimmen

"A smart little book that one can happily welcome into the family and allow to start growing old." --Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

"A book for bookworms . . . 18 stylish, dryly humorous essays"--Entertainment Weekly

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Kundenrezensionen

4.7 von 5 Sternen

Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen

2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 19. Juni 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a collection of essays about being a lover of books and reading. I particularly identified with the essay about compulsive proofreaders. I am too! Her entire family is obsessed. I love this line written after she and her family noted problems in a restaurant menu: "....we Fadimans would have mapped every corner of our deviant tribal identity, but apparently there was one pan-familial gene we has never before diagnosed: we were all complusive proofreaders."
Later she says, "There is no twelve-step program for us. We must learn to live with our affliction." she tells a story about a man with a tattoo with a missing letter t. He is suing the tattoo shop for $250,000. She writes, "I can imagine few worse fates than walking around for the rest of one's life wearing a typo."
There are several good essays, most of them in fact. I enjoyed the one about how long it took for she and her spouse to merge their libraries and get rid of duplicate copies. Whose were more important! The one with an inscription, notes in the margins, or one that falls open to the "good" spots? I have ALL of my own books. My library drastically overshadows that of my husband's. His consists mainly of engineering and math books that make my brain hurt, woodworking books, and an occasional science fiction novel. We did have similar angst combining our musical libraries though.
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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Cassandra am 1. Juli 2000
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
A book about books: what could be more appealing to people who live their lives with a book in their hand? Anne Fadiman, a talented essayist, decided to write about her love for books, and did so with great humour and sensitivity. I particularly liked the essay entitled "the odd shelf". All in all, an interesting and enjoyable book. My only complaint is that it was too short. I hope Anne Fadiman writes another book of essays soon.
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Von Terri J. Sapp am 7. Februar 1999
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Being a true lover of books and of reading to the point of obsession, I often wonder if others exist in this world who share the same sensual and unusual experience with books that I do. Anne Fadman is one of those people. That now makes three if I include my mate. This collection of essays touches on nearly all of the issues I encounter with the books in my life. I am often stressed by the inevitable need to "marry" my library with my mate's. Whose copy of a particular book will remain? Will our shelves be occupied by duplicate copies of "A Portrait of a Lday" because neither one of us can part with outs? At what point will I need to move my couch out of the house to make room for more bookshelves? Fadiman's essay "Marrying Libraries" deals with this very issue in a relatable and humorous way. It was refreshing to read "My Odd Shelf". These shelves are filled with books that she "cannot trot out at cocktail parties." It's a lonely interest. I know there are books in my collection that would raise eyebrows among my family and friends if they knew they occupied space on my shelves. Who would understand my obsession with Alexander Trocchi or Jungian literature? Finally, Fadiman's essay "Never Do That To A Book" made me realize that I may be a woman of contradictions when it comes to the care of my books. I'm both a courtly lover and a carnal lover of books. She distinguishes the two modes quite eloquently. A courtly lover sees books as only things to be read--no writing in the margins, no water wrinkles from reading in the bathtub or working out on the stairstepper. A carnal lover loves books to pieces. I believe I am both.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a charming little book. Anne Fadiman is a very good essayist; she writes well on a range of topics which most would find hard to express in essay form. Her purpose is not didactic, but rather to entertain and to encourage, and one certainly comes away wanting to read more, to buy more books, even just to sit and admire one's own library. All book-lovers will find something with which they identify, whether in terms of reading habits, the arrangement of one's books, the treatment of them, or in the concept of an odd-shelf. I was continually struck at Fadiman's ability to take one's attitude to books and related matters and then to find expression of this 'type' in other daily habits (I think especially of the obsessed proof-reader and his tendency to remove 'the lint from the clothes dryer' and to skim 'the drowned bee from the pool'). Although the essays stand on their own, I would suggest reading them in order, since one gets a picture of the Fadiman book-mania early on, and many of its aspects manifest themselves (mostly unconsciously) in later essays. At the end of the book, there are several useful pages of recommended readings. One only hopes that we shall be hearing (or reading) more from Anne Fadiman in the future.
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Von Ein Kunde am 28. Oktober 1999
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The first few essays were pure ambrosia. I read them eagerly - in love with words and reading, the tangibility of books, the smell of print, etc. I felt inspired to not just read, but PURCHASE mounds upon mounds of books. I envied Ms. Fadiman's knowing so many people who felt the same.
But after a while, can't quite say when, Fadiman began to get on my nerves. She's a little pretentious.
Whenever she quotes a friend saying something, it sounds stilted, more as if it were being written - if her pals wrote their responses, fine - just write, "Kim wrote" - if everybody she knows TALKS like this, well I'm just a big fat idiot. I had to consult my dictionary more times per page than I recall doing so while reading *Beloved*. While I'm not one to begrudge someone an extensive, precise vocabulary, I found the overall effect to be somewhat alienating.
She gave me a new appreciation for polar expeditions, I'll give her that. I am glad that I read the book, it's just that her whole "mywonderfulhusbandandIliveinaloftinNYC andwereadoutloudtoeachotherisn'tthatsexy? aren'twegreatandinlove&myfamilyissodarnededucated& wehavesomanywriterfriends" schtick kind of ruined the experience for me.
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