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‘The Last Reader’ by Ricardo Piglia Now Available in Arabic

‘The Last Reader’ by Ricardo Piglia Now Available in Arabic

Wednesday, 28 October, 2020 - 08:00
Visitors checking out the Iceland pavilion featuring giant projections of people reading at a recent Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany. Photo: AFP

Al Mutawassit publishing house has recently released an Arabic translation of "The Last Reader," a book by the Argentinian critic, author, and novelist Ricardo Piglia. The book was translated by Ahmed Abdullatif.

The Argentinian novelist, considered one of the most prominent Latino writers, gained fame in the field of cultural and creative criticism, and was known for focusing on the connection between literature and reception.

The German magazine Süddeutsche Zeitung described him as "one of the most important Latino writers who grew with the writings of Jorge Luis Borges, and the best to have visions and bases of international literature."

In this book, Piglia discusses a specific question: what is a reader? And who is he? What happens to him when he reads?

According to the Argentinian novelist, literature gives the reader a name and a story.

From Don Quixote to Hamlet, from Bartleby to the reader of Borges, and from Emma Bovary to Philip Marlowe…we face a never ending diversity of readers: sick, obsessed, melancholic, translator, critic, writer, and philosopher. Why not: the writer himself, Piglia as "Piglia" or Piglia as "Renzi" (the character that represents him in his writings).

Extract from the book:

"The reader is like a person who deciphers a code, like a translator. He often represents a metaphor to the intellectual. The image of a person who reads is a part of the intellectual's image in the modern meaning, not only as a novelist, but also as a person who faces the world with a mediation relationship with a specific type of knowledge.

“Reading is used as a general example of the meaning structure. The intellectual's hesitation always represents the uncertainty of interpretation in the many possible readings of the text. The act of reading and the act of politics are dominated by tension, which also exists between reading and experience, and reading and life. It significantly exists in the story we are trying to build, and in many times, what we read is the filter that gives the experience a meaning. Reading is the mirror of experience…it defines it and formulates it."

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