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The Colonization of Old Books

by Bryce Rogers (June 2012)

Marginalia are, on occasion, interesting. In the campus novel Pnin, Nabokov writes of “earnest freshmen” who adorn the pages of their books with “such helpful glosses as ‘Description of nature’ or ‘Irony’.” When not utterly banal, however, marginalia can provide a roadmap into the reader’s subjectivity through the symbols that litter the empty margins like street signs—exclamation points, question marks, stars. Stop here, turn there, go on.  more>>>