Kamis, 04 April 2013

Alberto Manguel on.... Reading Aloud

The Library of the Palais Lanckoronski, Vienna (1881) - Rudolph von Alt

"The humanist teacher Battista Guarino, son of the celebrated humanist Guarino Veronese, insisted that readers should not peruse the page silently "or mumble under their breath, for it so often happens that someone who can't hear himself will skip over numerous verses as though he were something else.  Reading out loud is of no small benefit to the understanding, since of course what sounds like a voice from outside makes our ears spur the mind sharply to attention."  According to Guarino, uttering the words even helps the reader's digestion, because it "increases heat and thins the blood, clean out all the veins and opens the arteries, and allows no unnecessary moisture to stand motionless in those vessels which take in and digest food."  Digestion of words as well; I often read aloud to myself in my writing corner in the library, where no one can hear me, for the sake of better savouring the text, so as to make it all the more mine."

--- Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night, p.179

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