Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader
Anne Fadiman is--by her own admission--the sort of person who learned about sex from her father's copy of Fanny Hill, whose husband buys her 19 pounds of dusty books for her birthday, and who once found herself poring over her roommate's 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only written... show more
Anne Fadiman is--by her own admission--the sort of person who learned about sex from her father's copy of Fanny Hill, whose husband buys her 19 pounds of dusty books for her birthday, and who once found herself poring over her roommate's 1974 Toyota Corolla manual because it was the only written material in the apartment that she had not read at least twice.
This witty collection of essays recounts a lifelong love affair with books and language. For Fadiman, as for many passionate readers, the books she loves have become chapters in her own life story. Writing with remarkable grace, she revives the tradition of the well-crafted personal essay, moving easily from anecdotes about Coleridge and Orwell to tales of her own pathologically literary family.
As someone who played at blocks with her father's 22-volume set of Trollope ("My Ancestral Castles") and who only really considered herself married when she and her husband had merged collections ("Marrying Libraries"), she is exquisitely well equipped to expand upon the art of inscriptions, the perverse pleasures of compulsive proof-reading, the allure of long words, and the satisfactions of reading out loud. There is even a foray into pure literary gluttony--Charles Lamb liked buttered muffin crumbs between the leaves, and Fadiman knows of more than one reader who literally consumes page corners.
Perfectly balanced between humor and erudition, Ex Libris establishes Fadiman as one of our finest contemporary essayists.
Publish date: 2000-11-25
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Pages no: 162
Edition language: English
I loved this from first word to last. A collection of essays first published in Civilization, each about some facet of the love of books or the written word. Her first essay, Marrying Libraries started the collection off on a high note with me; after 10 years together, I still can't quite embrace...
So Weird Al needs to dedicate his song “Word Crimes” to the Fadiman family, and I really want to met Fadiman and her husband George. (I swear, if I find they are divorced, I will sob uncontrollably for a minute). I picked this up at one of those really cheap book stores. You know t...
To metaksiążka - czyli książka o czytaniu książek. Aż gęsta od cytatów z innych autorów, pełna dziwnych, zapomnianych słów i pojęć, ale też anegdot o znanych i nieznanych pisarzach, muzykach, podróżnikach i politykach, dla których książki były czymś niesłychanie ważnym. Bibliofile zdają się tu być j...
We had been married in this loft, in full view of our mutually quarantined Melvilles. Promising to love each other for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health -- even promising to forsake all others -- had been no problem, but it was a good thing the Book of Common Prayer didn't say anything...
First of all, after finishing this book, I feel like an idiot. Fadiman is not only a better reader than I am but she is also a vocabulary genius. In this memoir of essays--told through literary adventures and personal insights--Fadiman details her husband and her shared library system, her family's ...