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notes in the margins

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[05 Dec 2010|05:03pm]

From the Multnomah County (i.e., Portland, OR) Public Library's copy of Witold Rybczynski's City Life: Urban Expectations in a New World:
With very few exceptions -- the Mall in Washington, D.C., a city planned by a Frenchman, and Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Seattle, Washington -- we have made street corners, not plazas, into symbolic civic places.
"Seattle, Washington" was underlined as indicated and a hysterical-looking, "WHAT THE FUCK?!?" scrawled beside it. Because, of course, Pioneer Courthouse Square is in Portland.
note: 1 (add your own)

[30 May 2010|10:46pm]

[ mood | curious ]

This isn't technically a margin, but I thought it was interesting and an important part of this book's history.
I recently was given a copy of  The Winged Horse Anthology  published in 1929 (the eighth printing) by Joseph Auslander and Frank Ernest Hill (an excellent book!) Anyway, these notes were written on the very first page of the book.
By the look of it, I would say these notes were made by a student.

(I would click on the photo so that you may actually see it. Sorry the photo turned out so small :/ )

notes: 2 (add your own)

not quite a note... [11 Apr 2010|11:51am]

...or at least not quite handwritten, and certainly not a book. A few weeks ago I bought a small six-ring binder and this morning I pulled out the pages it came with to rearrange them. Flipping through, something caught my eye. One of the looseleaf pages was stamped. I'm posting partially because I can't read it and am curious to get a translation. You can't really see from the scan, but it's close to the holes on the left edge, and in fact a little bit of the lower small character is bitten off by the fourth hole.

the imageCollapse )


I should go through my old math books and see if I can find other things to post. This is a great idea for a community so it's sad it's been dormant so long (then again, you can't force discovery).
(add your own)

Tess [21 Nov 2008|10:12am]


In J Hillis Miller's Fiction and Repetition, in a chapter on Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Miller writes:

I for one find the description of Angel Clare's failure to consumate his marriage to Tess almost unbearably painful.
In the margin, someone has made double vertical lines emphasizing this sentence, and has written: "Me Too!"
(add your own)

[31 Aug 2007|08:12pm]

Browsing second-hand bookshops in Norway, I came across a German book on Beethoven (by one Leopold Schmidt) and inside it found, dated 1927, this:

I'm afraid I don't have a clue what it means, or even whether it's modern or ancient Greek, and I've not indicated the aspirates, but the serendipity tickled me...
notes: 7 (add your own)

[25 Mar 2007|09:23am]

Hello! I'm new. ^_^ This isn't exactly an academic text, and the note itself has nothing to do with the content alongside which it was scribbled, so if this is bending the rules of the community too far, feel free to delete it. I just thought it was amusing if a little creepy.

This was in a copy of Inherit the Wind that I checked out of the public library a few years ago; I had this margin note typed up on my computer along with Mencken quotes:

Do you have a problem and no one else can help, and you want revenge, contact us at: Ateam4life@hotmail.com

And no, I've never tried to contact them. ^^
note: 1 (add your own)

[11 Mar 2007|12:51am]

For my first post, I come with two sources of marginalia:

The first was found in a copy of Dubliners and is not, perhaps, strictly marginalia since it is a quote from one of the stories themselves. However, I find it interesting because it is not noted within the story, merely written out on the inside of the front cover with some new emphasis and the year (1989) beneath it. The quote is from the story "A Little Cloud". The note reproduced (I lack a scanner):

If he could give expression to
it in a book of poems
perhaps men would LISTEN.
He would never be popular:
he saw that. He could not sway
the crowd but he might appeal
to a little circle of
kindred minds.

The second comes from a French textbook that I am currently using. It was previously owned by the head of the French department, a nun named Sister Catherine, who was (and, as a testament to her legend, still is) reputed to be the hardest instructor of French language in the known world and also quite insane. The book itself is a selection of French poetry, short stories, and selections from novels written up to around 1950 or so. The book was published in 1963 and used until she retired. Sister Catherine wrote notes on every page of the book. Most of them appear to be little more than guidelines from lessons, but there a few intriguing items:

I. From the front cover, scrawled in nearly illegible handwriting:
"...Ne plus envisager l'art comme une distraction, mais comme un sacerdoce..." --Jean Cocteau, 1/8/79
The traditional translation: "Art is not a pastime, but a priesthood."

II. In the margins of Voltaire's Le corridor de la tentation:
Act well your part, therein all honor lies.

III. In the margins of Camus's La peste, written in large, bold letters, starred, and underlined:
To survive the scourge, one must believe in its existence. It isn't the scourge which passes, but men.
(add your own)

[19 Feb 2007|10:27pm]

I just found The Royal Path of Life, the 1884 edition. Aside from the content (how to be happy--the full text is available online here if you're interested--) the book was especially appealing beacause of cryptic note on the copyright page:

burned?Collapse )
notes: 5 (add your own)

I kan nat glose, I am a rude man [04 Nov 2006|09:53pm]

[ mood | silly ]

I realize the annotations posted here are usually more of the insightful sort than the juvenile kind, but this marginal note found in a copy of Neville Coghill's translation of The Canterbury Tales, which I picked up at a used book sale for fifty cents and which appears to have belonged to a high school student at one point (like, it appears, most of the books at this particular event), made me giggle a lot. Granted, this is because I am twelve.

Chaucer would have approved of the sentiment, I think, if not the inaccurate definitionsCollapse )

notes: 3 (add your own)

[04 Nov 2006|08:22pm]

In the back of a used copy of Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem, in pencil, all lowercase:

i would like to be,
in fact feel that
i am, the type
of person who sits
alone reading in
public places.
(be it a book or

Now, this text also has some of the most idiotic marginalia I've ever had the misfortune of picking up in a used book. A not unrepresentative sample: by an epigraphic reference to Babylon, this previous reader writes, "Babyland – Mysterious city."
note: 1 (add your own)

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