Exhibitions: The library at night (Multimedia Art Museum.

S wift imagined books battling. In a library described in one of his satires, the volumes do not remain on the shelves but hurl themselves across the room in an exchange of insults and fisticuffs, enacting their disagreements by tearing one another's pages out. What happens, however, when the lights go out? Those belligerent books probably settle down to make love and breed other books. Writers write because they are compulsive readers and they do so in book-lined rooms. Forget about art imitating life: literature is a self-generating, self-referring activity.

Within his global, multilingual book collection, he can effortlessly travel in both time and space. He admits the megalomania of the enterprise: it recalls both the hubris of the Tower of Babel, felled by a resentful God, and the acquisitive mania of the library at Alexandria, accidentally torched when Caesar set fire to his own ships. Behind these imperious ventures, and behind Manguel's life-long scavenging in second-hand shops, lies a desire to demonstrate the unity of phenomena, the indexed connection between disparate experiences and the accessibility of all this lore to a single individual.

No wonder God toppled the first skyscraper: the Bible, once described by believers as 'the good book', aims to pre-empt all other books, so the personal libraries we piece together announce our defiant conviction that truth is partial and relative, a collaborative construction, not an utterance by some authority on high. In 1752, Diderot's enlightened Encyclopaedia, described by Manguel as 'an archival and interactive library', was accused of blasphemy because in its tabulation of all human knowledge it pointedly found no room for religion.