What are the best (worst?) annotations you've discovered in books?

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slow learner, your post reads like a wonderful short story.

Leee O'Gaddy (Leee), Tuesday, 20 April 2004 05:14 (eighteen years ago) link

would much rather muse about life and ILB than attend to the work on my desk. but thank you anyway!

slow learner (slow learner), Wednesday, 21 April 2004 00:10 (eighteen years ago) link

Last night we found 'pornographic, misogynistic bastard!' written next a Henry Miller quote in a library copy of A Shout In The Street by Peter Jukes. I won't quibble.

Archel (Archel), Thursday, 22 April 2004 09:17 (eighteen years ago) link

this is a great thread
wish i had something to add to it

robin (robin), Thursday, 22 April 2004 22:31 (eighteen years ago) link

Not really a reply to the question, but sort of on topic: If you haven't already done so, find a copy of the Billy Collins poem "Marginalia". It is about exactly these kinds of annotations, and is absolutely my favoritest poem ever.

Caenis (Caenis), Wednesday, 28 April 2004 01:47 (eighteen years ago) link

I read my roommate's copy of "On the Road", and her annotated comments show her growing frustration and annoyance with the book. One particular grievance that he called the city "San Fran", which drives her (a Bay Area native) up the wall. My frustration and annoyance with the book was about matched with hers (though "San Fran" doesn't bother me nearly as much) and eventually the only pleasure I got was reading her annotations. I put the book down about a dozen pages after she had.

Casuistry (Chris P), Thursday, 29 April 2004 17:33 (eighteen years ago) link

http://www.contemporarypoetry.com/dialect/poetry/collinsmarginalia.htm

that was quick!

tom west (thomp), Thursday, 29 April 2004 17:36 (eighteen years ago) link

Am reading an oldish book by Sh3rry Turkl3 about constructing identity on the Internet etc, and she refers to cybersex ocurring 'sometimes with two hands on the keyboard, sometimes only one' hemhem etc. Some grave student has noted beside this: 'room to experiment'.

This made me giggle a lot for some reason.

Archel (Archel), Friday, 30 April 2004 13:15 (eighteen years ago) link

When reading "Girl with a Pearl Earring" I noticed someone had underlined the more obscure words, such as (this is off the top of my head) window sash, turpentine, bricklayer's hod, and written the translation of them very lightly in pencil in some gorgeous eastern european looking language with lots of e's and z's. It really made me wonder who the previous reader was and what language it was, the writing being too faint to make out whole words.
I loved that poem, by the way, Casuistry.

Jocelyn (Jocelyn), Friday, 30 April 2004 13:59 (eighteen years ago) link

I found this while I was the temporary caretaker of a library at a horrible little college. (This was a place where a previous librarian had Dewey Decimalled Joyce's Dubliners under "general geography".) When I came across the following, it made my day. (Not exactly an annotation, but still...)

Inscription found in a copy of E.E. Cumming's The
Enormous Room
:

5 March 1963,

Dearest Bootsie,

I hope that you will love some of the people in this
book as much as I did. And maybe cry a little, too.
And that you will be happy that you have read it, and
it is yours.

Love from,
Ellsie

mck (mck), Friday, 30 April 2004 14:11 (eighteen years ago) link

odd, rather than good. i bought Funeral In Berlin second hand to tide me over on an 11 hour plane ride and towards the end there was one word obliterated - 'Brocks' as in the (old-skool) fireworks manufacturer.

(ha, looking up the spelling i found some pictures and Brocks were based in Hemel Hempstead which is where i bought the book. http://www.cyber-heritage.co.uk/eclipse/twone.jpg )

koogs (koogs), Friday, 30 April 2004 16:19 (eighteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
Inside my copy of T.S. Eliot's 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats':

I wish I had more sense
Of humour, sometimes
Keeping the sadness at bay
Throwing the lightness on
These things
Laughing it all away....
(Joni Mitchell: "People's Parties")

To Stephen,
with love, thanks & apologies
Love,
Claire / Xx .. . .


cozen (Cozen), Sunday, 16 May 2004 21:10 (eighteen years ago) link

I once got an Ellroy novel (I think it was White Jazz) that had every swear word crossed out. Inluding blasphemy. It was almost impossibel to read and left me wondering WHY anyone so easily offended would ever consider getting an Ellroy book out. Unless they were on a crusade to stop bad language. Didn't work since my language tinged the air blue after about the tenth page.

AnankeJones, Friday, 21 May 2004 08:16 (eighteen years ago) link

Maybe that reader should consider getting out the large print versions - I read a Robert B. Parker in LP recently and every swearword was replaced by a row of dashes! I am bit shocked that the publishers of LP editions are censoring in this way - it hardly follows that every visually impaired reader is also unable to handle swearing.

Archel (Archel), Friday, 21 May 2004 08:46 (eighteen years ago) link

the library copy of Philip Roth's The Facts that I read a few months ago contained a full counter-book. all along the margin of every page some previous reader had written "Come on, Phil! A little maudlin, wouldn't you say?" Or "Boring, boring, boring - where's the sex stuff?" Hard to know what impulse held the guy as he wrote...

David Elinsky (David Elinsky), Sunday, 23 May 2004 16:26 (eighteen years ago) link

A friend gave me his copy of "Writing Past Dark" with great annotations like: "Her perky lil face annoys me"..."Amazing, she can do a two page rift on peas" (sarcasm)...and on the back cover he's written "i love you just the way you are but love you too much to let you stay that way" which has nothing to do with the book.

bye

PeanutDuck (PeanutDuck), Sunday, 23 May 2004 16:52 (eighteen years ago) link

eighteen years pass...

In a copy of The Iron Man by Ted Hughes, written in separate pages in red pen vertically upwards next to the gutters:

WWF vs. WCW and ECW. Bras + Panties Match Up at "Invasion"
(Bras spelt Bra?^es (fourth letter scribbled out, with e written above))

HARDCORe Mat^ch Jeff hardy (?) VS Bok Van dam. Winner Bod Van Dam

Tag Math Check Columbo shaun stasjock (?) Vs APA. winers APa. Farooq and Bradshaw

the man with the chili in his eyes (ledge), Friday, 26 August 2022 11:28 (three months ago) link


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