Curiosity. A nine letter word that may mean, a “strong hearted desire to know or learn something.” However, to Alberto Manguel,it is a word that enthralls him like no other, it gave him an effervescent sentiment that caused him to write a book on this matter itself. You might be ‘curious’ to know what the title was, but Manguel’s quirky mind pivoted towards a more simple approach.
Curiosity, yes that is what Manguel’s latest, all-encompassing book is entitled. This so called collection of “The cabinets of Curiosity,” sees the glory in every possibility, the very exhilarating adventures of fantasy , and the majestic wisdom of the mystical past, along with a twist of modernity.This influential yet common philosophical work might as well,transcend time itself. How so? According to Manguel, he finds the answers of life’s most greatest questions embedded inside the obscure glasses of history and time. He lucidly does so, by paying his homage to Dante Alighieri ,an Italian poet in the middle ages, also widely known as “The Father of the Italian Language.” His “Divine Comedy” is known to be a timeless masterpiece in literature, as it is read worldwide. Alberto Manguel does in an exquisite manner,pay his homage to the maestro of the written word ; Dante.
Despite, his obvious fantasized “Encounters with the dead in hell as their abode, and the purgatory in heaven, from the Divine Comedy,” he recites the immortal language defined by the greatest books of the world : Homer, Plato, Hebrew Talmud, Christian Gospels, Sanskrit Vedas. Upon, hearing the resonating names of these widely renowned books, one might ask if Manguel actually found the answers? Manguel, would say in response ,that questions like “What are we doing here,” “What is reason,” are the questions that scientists have been devoting a lifetime in answering. and Manguel who is 67 has prompted insights on the themes prevalent in these historical texts.However, he has done so, in a captivating way, that has reached back to more than 7 centuries of philosophical works, that he can grasp most of them (the authors) by his impregnable hand.
I have purposely, not meant to specifically tell what this provocative book is about, and the various passages that sparkle amongst the rest. But, I will leave off by telling some of the spellbinding notions, and events that altered the course of time, and hazed history,in an almost perplexing manner.These include illness, climate change, cultural frontiers, the horrifying nightmares of Auschwitz, Hiroshima,and Nagasaki, and of course, death.These may be, merely phrases that have nonetheless affected your life, but it is vital to understand its direct correlation in the mysterious realm of history.These events, and phrases , are philosophical gifts that Manguel is willing to question, but not promise any answers to.
“Then why should I read it?” Curiosity, conjures life’s greatest questions, it provides meaning to the meaningless, it is true guidance in a world embroidered with confusion. Alberto Manguel creates a multiverse in his very own book. I truly hope that this riveting read becomes assimilated into the readers world .