The Years of Bloom

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Author: John McCourtIMG_0528
Title: The Years of Bloom: James Joyce in Trieste 1904-1920
Publisher: The Lilliput Press
Year of publication: 2001
Place of publication: Dublin
Place of purchase: Trieste
Ownership: Firsthand
General comments: Paperback, xi, 306p, illustrated with photographs. Bought during the 19th annual Trieste Joyce School in the summer of 2015. This was my first trip outside India, and one of the most intellectually and emotionally stimulating holidays that I’ve ever had. The Italian phrase quoted by the author in the inscription translates to “in our beautiful Trieste” and is a paraphrase from a letter written by James Joyce to Nora Barnacle from Dublin: “La nostra bella Trieste! I have often said that angrily but tonight I feel it true. I long to see the lights twinkling along the Riva as the train passes Miramar. After all, Nora, it is the city which has sheltered us. I came back to it jaded and moneyless after my folly in Rome and [will]now again after this absence.” (September 1909, source: http://tinyurl.com/af6f25e).
Transcription of inscription:

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‘The Canale Grande, leading to the steps of the Church of Sant’Antonio Taumaturgo’


Trieste, June-July 2015
19th Annual Joyce School

To Shalmi—

Delighted to make your friendship here “nella nostra bella Trieste”

John McCourt
Submitted by: Shalmi Barman

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

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Author: Douglas R. HofstadterIMG_0515
Title: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Publisher: Basic Books
Year of publication: 1999 (twentieth anniversary edition)
Place of publication: New York
Place of purchase: Chennai
Ownership: Firsthand
General comments: Avinash tells me he bought this book in Chennai, when he had gone there to study mathematics after school. When he promptly returned to Calcutta to study English he brought the book with him and it got soaked during one rainy day on the Jadavpur University campus. By this time he was very fond of the book, water-warped pages and all, and inscribed the following in it before lending it to Sohini Banerjee, a classmate.
As an aside, I, your humble archiver, might note that Avinash gifted me a copy of this book years later on a particular birthday, with warm recommendations and an interesting inscription therein too.
Transcription of inscription:
THIS DILAPIDATED DELIGHT IS THE PROPERTY OF AVINASH ANTONY. THE PAGES HAVE BEEN DOG-EARED AND DIRTIED WITH A LOT OF CARE AND AFFECTION. PLEASE DON’T HURT THIS BOOK, THERE’S A LOT THAT SHE CAN TEACH YOU.
MAKE SURE THAT HER PAGES DON’T GET LOOSE. AND IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND – TRY AND TRY AGAIN.
Submitted by: Avinash Antony, via Shalmi Barman

A Book About Stars And Planets

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Author: Yefrem Levitan
Title: A Book About Stars And Planets To Be Read To Children
Publisher: RadugaIMG_0240
Year of publication: 1986
Place of publication: Moscow
Translator: Sergei Sosinsky
Place of purchase: Calcutta
Ownership: Firsthand, Gift
General comments: Hardback, with illustrations by Sergei Alimov. Featuring a space-travelling wizard who is summoned by a father to explain astronomical phenomena to two children. This was a long-lost book that I recently retrieved from my collection to pass on to my niece. She turned seven this April.
Transcription of inscription:
To Toobri,
for the funway of learning-
Baba & Ma.
Cal. Book Fair 2002
Submitted by: Shalmi Barman

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L to R above: Title page, recto, and copyright page, backing verso. Not a spread, but presented in this way to demonstrate the continuity of design.

Rudyard Kipling’s Verse

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Author: Rudyard Kipling
Title: The Definitive Edition of Rudyard Kipling’s Verse
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Year of publication: 1966 reprint
Place of publication: London
Ownership: Secondhand      kiplingfront
General comments: My husband, John Prescott, was a secondhand book seller and the house is full of books – both his own accumulations and books that were intended for the shop. I am now going through it all and selecting which books I want to keep and which should find a home where they will be read and loved.
This Kipling I shall probably keep because of its inscription. There was also a name (there is a vague B remaining), which has been rubbed out vigorously.
Transcription of inscription:
East is East and West is West
and never the twain shall meet

they didn’t: here’s the proof
B[rubbed out]

IN MEMORIAM HENRICI FENWICKI
Submitted by: ariadne van de ven