Pleasures

The Pleasures of the Library

“Two years ago, I suddenly needed, while doing a tricky translation, to look up something in the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, the one that comes with a magnifying glass on account of the very small print – and although it is described as “compact”, it has taken up a lot of room for the last thirty years.  It is true that the Essai de grammaire slovéne (Essay in Slovanian grammar) by Claude Vicenot is unlikely ever to be of the slightest use to me.  But this is a souvenir from several visits to Ljubljana, and I would feel I was blotting out my past if I got rid of it. (I still have a photo, taken with Nicole Zand in Lipiza in 1987 or 1988, by Eugen Bavcar, a Slovenian photographer – who is blind.)”  page 103.

Jacques Bonnet.

First published as Des bibliothèques pleines de fantômes by Éditions Denoël, 2008.

Published as Phantoms on the Bookshelves.  NYC: Overlook Press, 2012

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