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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  17 reviews
As children, most of us are scared of the dark. Although we may put that fear behind us, it remains nonetheless buried deep in places where we prefer not to look. It is a terror-as old as the human race-that survives in spite of the magic of electricity, which disguises but can never erase the differences between night and day.
In this powerfully written book, A. Alvarez ex
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 17th 1996 by W.W. Norton Company (first published November 8th 1994)
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Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: siglo-xx, ensayo
Los niños dan formas y rostros a su miedo a la oscuridad y esas formas puede tener significados personales, estar inmersas en lo que Henry James llamaba "el hondo pozo de la celebración inconsciente". Pero lo que verdaderamente temen es la oscuridad misma, Y tal vez ese miedo sea instintivo; Tal vez, quiero decir, el niño nazca con huellas del terror que sentía por las noches el hombre primitivo, del mismo modo que el pájaro que acaba de nacer se encogerá de miedo cuando vea pasar la sombra del ...more
Aug 27, 2007 rated it liked it
I'm going to write a book very similar to this one, except mine will be a lot better. ...more
Claudio Ruiz
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me pasa siempre con el par de libros que he leído de Al Alvarez: cada vez que los termino, quiero otro. No podría más enfáticamente recomendar este. Una exploración sobre la noche, lo nocturno, desde ese punto de vista desprejuiciado de Álvarez magistralmente traducida por Marcelo Cohen. Incluye psicoanálisis, mitología, ciencia y cuchufletea entremedio poesía.
Jen Garuti
I bought this book back around 2000. I read part of it, put it down and didn't come back to it until 2012 when the same thing happened again. Finally, 2020 and I start over for the 3rd time and finish. The first 2 times I remember enjoying it even though being unable to finish. This time however the book seems really all over the place and uneven. I also could have sworn there was a section on how, before electric light, people used to have 2 periods of sleep at night. Maybe the pages stuck, may ...more
Göz ardı edildiğini düşündüğüm iyi bir kitap. Yalnız çıta bazı noktalarda çok yükselirken bazı noktalarda kitap çok durağanlaşıyor.
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As a night hawk, I really enjoyed this book!!
Gaston Levin
Más que “La noche” podría llevar de título “Los sueños” que sería un modo de aproximarse a lo que Alvarez cuenta. Dado que se escribió en 1996 toda la parte de los ultimos descubrimiento sobre el cerebro queda algo anticuada y sospechamos que las conclusiones ya han sido superadas. Además no hay aquí un recorrido histórico sobre esas investigaciones con lo que nos perdemos al menos de otros datos o de por lo menos disfrutar el camino.
Luego hay una larguísima discusión sobre, justamente, los sue
Moisés Domínguez
Un libro que nos cuenta sobre la vida nocturna. La relación que tenemos con la noche, sus peligros y peculiaridades, la manera en que soñamos y lo que esto puede llegar a significar.
Como siempre en los libros de Al Álvarez, encontramos en este un ensayo muy bien documentado, pero que no por serio y a veces academicista, pierde agilidad.
Chelsea K
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
May 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
favorite tidbits:

I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain - and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light.

Light hath no tongue but is all eye.

Fear at my heart, as at a cup, my life-blood seemed to sip.

The prince of darkness is a gentleman...

At night, when the external world is hidden, common sense loses its points of reference, and there is space for less amenable figures to make their presence felt.

Like the rich, the over-achievers are different from us;
Sep 09, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked bits and pieces of this book. What an odd mix: a smidgen of science (the sleep laboratory was interesting), a lot of literary references to sleep and dreams, and personal recollections and experiences from the author. The ride in a police car during a night shift in New York and the recollections of Alvarez's own fear of the dark helped me get through the otherwise slow-moving book. I could have done without the interminably long references to Freud and dream interpretation.
I do know f
Jan 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jan by: just found it browsing Greenwood Books in Rochester, NY
This is a book that I will enjoy re-reading parts of for quite awhile. I learned a lot about the history of light, how we act at night/ react to night, an historical look at dreaming, and a look at several specific writers- Nerval, Stevenson, Coleridge, and some of the Surrealists. This is not intended as a scholarly work, but one man's thoughts and understanding of his own wrestlings within the context of Night. A. Alvarez is the writer and critic who was friends with many, in particular, Sylvi ...more
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
read a. alvarez' 'the savage god' years ago and had been on the lookout for other titles authored by him. this one doesn't disappoint - an interesting, lambent light cast on the various facets of night. ...more
Angela Wade
Nov 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, medical, science
Lacking the passion of The Savage God. A surprisingly disappointing and dull read.
Mar 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Like The Savage God, a journey linking questions with questions, and in trying to sketch the sky, A. Alvarez brings us to the outlines of clouds. Worth the read.
Randy Cauthen
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mostly really good, but marred by too much focus on Freud and by 40 pages of night shift ridealong with cops in NYC and London.
Esteban Galarza
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Aug 31, 2020
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Agustin Zalazar
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Feb 24, 2021
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Alfred Alvarez was an English poet, novelist, essayist and critic who published under the name A. Alvarez and Al Alvarez.

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