Empire of the Word

My awesome parents, knowing all about my obsession with words, recorded the Empire of the Word documentary series that aired on TVO last month for me. It was developed and narrated by the very impressive Alberto Manguel, author of A History of Reading, The Library at Night, and The City of Words among other titles.

I watched every episode in a single sitting, and I have a hunch you’ll be as fascinated as I was. So brew some tea, get comfy, and follow the links below to the Empire of the Word.

Episode one is called “The Magic of Reading” and explores the origins of the written word and our irrepressible desire to read.

Episode two is titled “Learning to Read” and considers the intellectual triumph of reading from the neurology of the human mind to the education of new readers.

Episode three is called “Forbidden Reading” and investigates the authorities who have tried to ban the creation and consumption of texts as well as the people who fight for our right to read.

Episode four, “The Future of Reading,” speculates about how technology is changing the way we read and asks what will become of bound libraries in the years to come.

If you’re still craving more programming about the wonders of language, check out the BBC’s Why Do We Talk? over at the Lingua Franca blog. When you’re done you’ll want to stick around and read some of the really fun posts you’ll find there.

Thanks for watching!

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2 Responses to Empire of the Word

  1. Heather says:

    Sounds like a fun class – I love that the instructor included the Manguel title in the syllabus. If you like the Empire of the Word series, you might also enjoy this BBC program on the Gutenberg press narrated by Stephen Fry: http://the-word-blog.com/2009/07/26/lasting-impressions/

  2. lyndalepress says:

    oo, i was browsing wordpress’ “books” tag and am so glad i came across this post! i just read manguel’s “a history of reading” for my first book history class and loved it. i hadn’t heard of this documentary and am definitely going to check it out.

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