Ramkinkar Baij illustration

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Artist: Ramkinkar Baij
Title: Personal book of poems
Year of publication: 1959
Place of publication: Shantiniketan, Bolpur
Ownership: Gift
General comments: My Grandfather was very close to a few people in Shantiniketan and my mother even studied there in the 80s. This small gift was by Ramkinkar Baij on the first page of a personal notebook where my grandfather wrote down poems of his own and others. Archiving is something I genuinely believe in and Bengal’s conceit over its heritage sometimes hinders its conservation of the past. I have been a fan of Endpapers for sometime and I am very glad to contribute in this small way.
Submitted by: Teerna Bhattacharya

On Anarchism

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Author: Noam Chomsky chomsky-cover
Title: On Anarchism
Publisher: Penguin
Year of publication: 2014
Place of publication: London
Place of purchase: Chakrabarti/Chatterjee, College Street, Kolkata
Purchase cost: Rupees 250
Ownership: Gift
General comments: I got this as a birthday present from a friend of mine who is leaving India to do her PhD. This book reminded her of the very first political discussions we had in the sun-drenched winter afternoons in Presidency University, Kolkata where we spent our undergraduate years together.
Transcription of inscription:
স্নেহের দীপ্যমান-কে,
দুই-কুড়ি-এর পর সবটাই anarchy.
অতএব|
-শুভাত্রী
2016

[To beloved Dipyaman,
Everything after two scores is anarchy.
Therefore.
-Shuvatri
2016]
Submitted by: Dipyaman

Prize Stories 1984 – The O. Henry Awards

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Authors: Various
Title: Prize Stories 1984 – The O. Henry Awards
Publisher: Anchor Press
Year of publication: 1984
Place of publication: Garden City, NY
Editor: William Abrahams
Ownership: Uncertain – either stolen from library, bought from library sale, or some other means entirely
General comments: Hardbound edition, with a bookplate inside the front cover identifying it as belonging to the American Center Library in Calcutta. I inherited this book from my father, who once told me that it was absurdly simple, back in the day, toimg_20161229_200512 walk into the American Center Library, walk out with a book that took one’s fancy, and never come back. I wonder if that is how he acquired this volume, or whether it was borrowed in turn from a college friend who had flexible ideas about property. It is one of my favourite inherited books because of the list of unconnected, evocative words scribbled on the opening endpaper. These are words and phrases a previous owner had probably intended to look up (their occurrences are underlined in-text in blue pen), but this page always gave me the impression of a freeflowing prose poem.
Transcription of inscription: 
gauzy, numismatic
‘canny burgler’, fomenting
coddling, hammock, winnow
alianthus (tree), whanged,
vamoosed, rancid, drunk-clobbered,
hombre, grue, flamenco, hood-winked,
pit-free, harridan, supine, vim,
popeyed, dire, funk, tummy, sniveling,
purblind, jowled, whoop, hubris, bravado,
permeated, gravy mix, acne, pantyhose, defecation,
enema, paprika, chunk, warped, marauded,
mope, corduroy, macrame, sequined, pardoner
confidante, poodles, cherubic, houndstooth, laundromat,
tawny, faille, shantung, velours, kugel, pirogen, latr[?]
blintzes, zinnias, muggers, stranglers, dentures, coursing,
‘her hair cut short in bangs’, dewlaps, rakehe[?]
toupee, gossamer, dowager’s humps, ‘shoes cut out
for bunions’, tableaux, guitty, conflagrations, marauders,
caldrons, crenellated, circumcision, jonquil, ruse,
brambles, scoffed, marquee, sorcery, dung rodent,
pinochle, squawk, thwack, frond, barrettes, cornet,
obeisant, beak of light, cuneiform, comatose,

Submitted by: Shalmi Barman

Catullus – The Complete Poetry

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Author: Catullus 2016-07-13_6793.JPG
Title: The Complete Poetry
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Year of publication: 1957
Place of publication: Ann Arbor
Translator: Frank O. Copley
Ownership: Secondhand, in my late husband’s collection 
General comments: John Prescott, my husband, was a second-hand bookseller in London all his life. He accumulated a substantial amount of books himself, in all kinds of subjects. The inscription in this one makes one’s heart jump (Endpapers’ editor Shalmi’s certainly did when I showed her), but I don’t actually think that this book ever reached the person it is inscribed to: perhaps the publisher never sent it on. 15/- is 15 shillings in British old money (pre-1971).
Transcription of inscription:

Out of print
15/-

To Mr. E.E. Cummings –
quicquid hoc libelli
qualecumque –
with sincere regards,
Frank O. Copley
Submitted by: Ariadne van de Ven

Cricket & Beyond

img_20160902_084605-minimg_20160908_093603-minAuthor: Gulu Ezekiel
Title: Cricket & Beyond
Publisher: Ocean Books
Year of publication: 2011
Place of publication: New Delhi
Place of purchase: Bookworm
Price: 
Rs. 130
Ownership: Second hand
General comments: This copy was a gift from the author to Ramchandra Guha.
Transcription of inscription:
To Ram,
Best wishes,
Gulu E.
Submitted by: Bedbyas Datta

Growth and Structure of the English Language

20161201_200242-minAuthor: Otto Jespersen
Title: Growth and Structure of the English Language 20161201_200355-min
Publisher: Basil Blackwell
Year of publication: 1962
Place of publication: Oxford
Ownership: Borrowed from library
General comments: This book was found by Sujaan in the Ruby Chatterji collection of the Department of English, Jadavpur University.
Transcription of inscription:
Gopal Krishna Gandhi
r.d[?] New Delhi (from Oxford)
January 10, 1966.
Submitted by: Sujaan Mukherjee

Shorosh golpo

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Author: Bimal Kar
Title: Shorosh golpo
Publisher: Ananda
Year of publication: Nov 1985; 2nd rev ed, 3rd imprint Dec 2005
Place of publication: Kolkata
Place of purchase: Kolkata
Price: Rs. 125
Ownership: Gift
General comments: Gifted by a dear friend at the time on my birthday, October 2006.
Transcription of inscription:
To the best possible Gravy Chewer on this planet.
(Although I’m open to convincing arguments of the expensive gift nature).
2006.
Submitted by: Poushali Bhadury aka Kaichu

Kangal Malshat

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Author: Nabarun Bhattacharya img_20161029_215338
Title: কাঙাল মালসাট (The War-Cry of the Beggars)
Publisher: Saptarshi
Year of publication: 2005 (3rd edition)
Place of publication: Serampore
Place of purchase: Chinsurah
Ownership: Gift; borrowed
General comments: Admin found this in a box of books left behind in the Department of English by Aritra Chakraborti, who recently completed his PhD at JU and moved to Hyderabad. Aritra da said that he had got the book as a present from his father, and got it autographed a couple of years later when he bumped into Nabarun da outside the now-closed Worldview bookstore on campus. Having the book on hand, he asked the author for an autograph; Nabarun da asked him why he wanted such a thing. He would go on to run into the author several times, at Jadavpur 8B, and at the Kolkata Book Fair where Nabarun da once asked him to write an article on Bengali pornography for his magazine Bhashabandhan. Aritra da admits that he never did get around to it.
Transcription of inscription:
বুড়োকে জন্মদিনে–
বাবা
২০০৬.

শুভেচ্ছা
নবারুণ ভট্টাচার্য
৩১.১.০৮

[To the old fellow on his birthday–
Father
2006.

Good wishes
Nabarun Bhattacharya
31.1.08]
Submitted by: Aritra Chakraborti, via Shalmi Barman

Lola Rose

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Author: Jacqueline Wilson   img_20160918_142442
Title: Lola Rose
Publisher: Doubleday
Year of publication: 2003
Place of publication: Great Britain
Place of purchase: Book Tuk, Kolkata
Purchase cost: Rupees 60
Ownership: Secondhand
General comments: I bought Lola Rose from a secondhand book store some time in August. I have been reading children’s books as a 20 year old to understand how adults read and receive children’s literature and so far, this personal project has been very interesting. As a part of the same project, I had also read Jacqueline Wilson’s The Illustrated Mum and I have come to greatly appreciate her literary works.
Anyway, so I open this copy of Lola Rose and on the first page it is signed, “Love, Jacqueline Wilson”. So obviously I freaked out and went online to Google her signature. And turns out that the signature on my copy is INDEED authentic and I had thus come to possess a signed copy of her book, albeit unwittingly.
Transcription of inscription:
To fiona

love
Jacqueline Wilson

xxxxxx
Submitted by: Sayari Debnath

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

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There are certain differences between the text of the Rubaiyat quoted here and the quatrain mentioned in contemporary texts.

 

Author: Omar Khayyam
Title: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Publisher: Collins Clear Type Press
Place of publication: Great Britain
Translator: Edward Fitzgerald
Place of purchase: Sunday Market, Ahmedabad
Purchase cost: Rupees 50
Ownership: Secondhand
General comments: Here’s images of a lovely edition of the Rubaiyat I came across at a flea market in Ahmedabad . The date of publishing is unknown, but given by the inscription, it could be anytime around Independence.
The verse  printed below is in Farsi, and was read out to me by the bookseller. 🙂
Transcription, transliteration, and translation of inscription:
[endpaper recto]
B. Salima
26.7.48

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“A potter thumping his wet clay, and with its all obliterated tongue it murmured, ‘Gently brother, gently pray.'”

ناکرده گنه در این جهان کیست بگو
آن کس که گنه نکرد چون زیست بگو
من بد کنم و تو بد مکافات دهی
پس فرق میان من و تو چیست بگو

(‘Na kardah gunah dar aen jahan kest bago
An kis keh gunah na karden zest bago
Man bad-kanam o tu bad-makafat dahi
Pes farq meyaan man o tu chest bago’

‘Who is the man who here below has not committed
sin; can you say? Had he not committed it, could he
have lived, can you tell? If, because I do evil, you
punish me for evil, what then is the difference between
you and me, can you say?’
– cited, transcribed, and transliterated by our friend Arshdeep; quatrain 356 of the Rubaiyat, Edward Fitzgerald’s translation)

[endpaper verso]
(‘When you prostrated yourself on the ground, a sound rose from the ground
You have ruined me, your prostration is duplicitous.’
– translated by our friends Tania and Zeinab, transliteration and citation would be appreciated)

[brown tape on binding of title page]
‘Mohammed Salim’ repeated four times – perhaps evidence of another owner of the book.
Submitted by: Niharika Joshi