Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It's nice to see that

...my inconsistent system of annotation is not unusual. These days I have no system. I just go with whatever strikes me. At one time I used to underline with ink and employ highlighters of various colours. My copy of Criticism: Major Statements is an embarrassingly gaudy mess of blue, green and yellow, and to top it off, some of the yellow passages are underlined with red ink. Yikes. When I studied Mircea Eliade's The Sacred & The Profane, I was in my green phase. The occasional red ink asterisk appears on the dog-eared pages. Very cute asterisks, though. Then there's Northrop Frye's The Educated Imagination. Surely he'd roll over in his grave if he could see what I've done to that little book. My attempts at highlighter colour mixing were rather unsuccessful. The most important passages are so hideous I can barely stand to look at the page. And then there's The Cunning Man, a novel by Robertson Davies. I failed to mark some passages at the time, but after 10 years their essence still haunts me. I've flipped through the 469 pages a number of times, wanting to pull out a quote that applied to a conversation, but that didn't work. I'll have to read the book again.

5 comments:

Rhett said...

Pictures please. I would like to see this massacre.

Anonymous said...

These descriptions twist a bookseller's guts, although I do understand that sometimes this is the only way in which a reader can take revenge. On the other hand, I'm no purist when it comes to marking books. The marginal note seems to be the best way of establishing a meaningful long-term relationship.

highbrow

Rhett said...

I am a firm believer in artistic appropriation and this just seems like another version of that :).

Berlynn said...

B, I think it must be the painter in you that comes out when you read plain text.

Brenda Schmidt said...

No, Rhett, no pictures. Imagine what pictures would do to Highbrow's gut. :)

Berlynn, if that's the painter in me, I should be stripped of my brushes.