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3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  103 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
An eclectic history of human curiosity, a great feast of ideas, and a memoir of a reading life from an internationally celebrated reader and thinker

Curiosity has been seen through the ages as the impulse that drives our knowledge forward and the temptation that leads us toward dangerous and forbidden waters. The question “Why?” has appeared under a multiplicity of guises
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published March 17th 2015 by Yale University Press
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Nov 30, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing
There is a sadness to reading ‘Curiosity’, as it is quite possibly Manguel’s final such book. He is my favourite author of books-about-books, as his writing is thoughtful, profound, humane, and informed by a lifetime of reading. Here, Manguel talks about suffering a stroke and his intuition that he will not live much longer, something he has made peace with. Nonetheless, this is not an inherently unhappy book. Rather, it is tribute to the curiosity of humanity about the world, each other, and ...more
Apr 05, 2016 Mahak rated it really liked it
The book greets the reader with the most challenging of questions revolving around the infamous 'who?' 'what?' & the 'whys' of life as a whole and our presence as actors within. I do confess it was exhausting to read as its perhaps for the more educated pallet, but still I was not insulted. If you've read any of his works previously it might be best if you keep that pattern and then after visit this one as it may get you familiarised with how he conducts the verbal exchange of thoughts and ...more
Javier Villaseñor
Sep 16, 2015 Javier Villaseñor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Mi biblioteca no es una colección de certezas, sino un asilo de dudas. Se emprende un viaje, el mapa es un libro y cada una de las palabras escritas en éste son una posibilidad de camino, pues cada palabra abre un nuevo campo: ninguna palabra es sólo presente, sino pasado y futuro también, conjugadas y sintetizadas en una sola pregunta que se vuelve brújula para guiarnos en nuestra empresa: ¿por qué?
"La curiosidad es el arte de hacerse preguntas" Plantea Manguel al inicio del libro. ¿Y qué nos p
World Literature Today
"In the opening pages of this ambitious memoir—in which its author tracks the career of his own curiosity through a lifetime of dedicated reading within a capacious framework of the literary history of human inquisitiveness through the ages—he mentions that he was almost sixty when he first encountered Dante’s Commedia, the work of literature that did more than any other to guide him through the production of his unusually challenging task. Such a gargantuan project seeks proper scaffolding, and ...more
Elaine Aldred
Mar 26, 2015 Elaine Aldred rated it really liked it
In ‘Curiosity’ Alberto Manguel uses Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ as its backbone from which he meanders down branches of literary and anthropological exploration on the subject of curiosity.
Manguel has a unique method of presenting an autobiographical style of essay writing, which can at times seem to take on a life all of its own and appear to wander off the subject, ‘Curiosity’ is no exception. However, what a reader encounters during this book are many literary boxes of delights and curiosities (a
Edward Sullivan
Autobiographical, eclectic, erudite, and brilliant.
Pablo Flores
Nov 15, 2016 Pablo Flores rated it liked it
Alberto Manguel es, desde este año, director de la Biblioteca Nacional de Argentina. En este libro se plantea preguntas comunes, generales, sobre la vida, la verdad, la justicia, el destino, y las enhebra con la trama de la Divina Comedia. Cada capítulo comienza con un recuerdo personal, que suele ser la mejor parte. Los capítulos en sí varían en tono; algunos más filosóficos, otros más científico-académicos. No es posible resumir el libro de esta manera. No he leído la Divina Comedia e imagino ...more
um manancial de erudição partilhado por Alberto Manguel em defesa da curiosidade, da busca pelo saber e pelo conhecimento. no seu melhor, a partilha de memórias e leituras que vão de carroll a hume, passando por santo agostinho. e no entanto, o epicentro do livro está na divina comédia de dante que, se não tiver sido degustada pelos leitores desta "história", acaba por entorpecer um pouco o desfrute deste livro e dos seus significados.
Cintia Andrade
Este livro é empacotado de maneira a enganar o leitor. Pelo título / sinopse, parece-se tratar de um estudo sobre a curiosidade humana através de figuras literárias - o que de certa forma o livro é, mas por apenas 15% do tempo. Na maior parte do tempo, este livro lê-se como uma tese, uma dissertação detalhada (e longuíssima) sobre "A Divina Comédia".
Os trechos em que Manguel fala de sua infância e adolescência e de sua relação com os livros e o mundo são excelentes - como o são os trechos que t
Derrick Trimble
Aug 14, 2016 Derrick Trimble rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Browsing the Waterstone's shelves for a book, Curiosity caught my attention. Everything about the book, from cover to concept, appeared to express the genre and style of reading that stimulates my mind. The experience didn't disappoint.

Commenting on this book by Alberto Manguel, evokes a sense of engaging in an intellectual battle with a superior mind. Like the Economist book jacket quote, I too would agree that reading Manguel is as 'taking a walk or an unhurried meal with an erudite cosmopoli
Miguel Salgado
Dificilmente lerei a Divina Comédia mas a estrutura deste livro (perguntas, perguntas) espelha-se e explica-se na obra de Dante Alighieri, às vezes de uma maneira um pouco forçada (anacronicamente forçada, direi eu). Cada capítulo é uma pergunta e o desenvolvimento apresenta-se em duas partes: a primeira é uma reflexão biográfica do autor e é de longe a mais interessante. A segunda procura uma associação/explicação/interpretação na Divina Comédia e... nem sempre me foi satisfatório. Talvez a ...more
Forrest Link
Jul 23, 2015 Forrest Link rated it liked it
This is a difficult book, in part because it assumes so much of its readers. It asks that we accept Manguel's rather non-linear approach to examining deep philosophical questions through the lens of Dante and the various literary ripples around the Divine Comedy. The autobiographical bits are engaging, but Manguel's rambling style can be off-putting.
Savannah Pine
May 15, 2016 Savannah Pine rated it really liked it
This book is one man's struggle with all the why questions humans face. He uses everything he has ever known to explore these questions.
Everyone needs something to remind them that they don't know everything. This book did that for me, thankfully.
Michael Rodriguez
Jan 19, 2015 Michael Rodriguez rated it really liked it
Not a biography of the theory or science of curiosity, but rather a series of meditations on humanity's great existential questions set in the framework of Dante's Inferno and explored through classic literature and philosophy. A feast for any intellectually curious reader or lover of the classics.
Dec 11, 2015 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Read this book!!! I realized a long time ago the reason I read is because of my curiosity. Manguel uses Dante's Divine Comedy as a touch stone for explorng the asking of questions. The book is dense and erudite. Again, read this book!!
Feb 22, 2016 ShaLisa rated it liked it am glad to read a book like this, a book about thought. Kinda crazy.
Jul 20, 2015 Tony rated it it was ok
Gave up on this one. The author's erudition is on display, but amid all the snippets of literature and philosophy I don't seem to be getting anywhere interesting.
Mohammed Al-bulushi
Mohammed Al-bulushi rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2015
Gabriel Garcia
Gabriel Garcia rated it really liked it
Sep 05, 2016
Azad Rahaman
Azad Rahaman rated it really liked it
Jul 30, 2016
Peter Charles Van der Putten
Peter Charles Van der Putten rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2016
Maryellen rated it really liked it
Oct 21, 2016
Paul Harris
Paul Harris rated it it was amazing
Sep 27, 2016
Gabriela rated it liked it
Jun 07, 2015
Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Jul 21, 2015
Peter Van
Peter Van rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2015
Briary rated it liked it
Apr 03, 2016
May 02, 2015 Lisa rated it liked it
Curiosity, evidently, need only be explored through Dante.
Pep Bonet
Pep Bonet rated it liked it
Apr 06, 2016
James Marshall
James Marshall rated it it was ok
Aug 05, 2016
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Alberto Manguel (born 1948 in Buenos Aires) is an Argentine-born writer, translator, and editor. He is the author of numerous non-fiction books such as The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (co-written with Gianni Guadalupi in 1980) and A History of Reading (1996) The Library at Night (2007) and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey: A Biography (2008), and novels such as News From a Foreign Country Came (1991). ...more
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“Every book can be, for the right reader, an oracle, responding on occasion even to questions unasked..” 2 likes
“the satisfaction of one answer merely leads to asking another question, and so on into infinity.” 1 likes
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