In A Passage (Granary Books, 1994), Buzz Spector printed the same passage of text on every page of a 181-page book that was bound in a conventional…
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Browsing in a second-hand bookshop on Charing Cross Road some years ago, I came across a copy of History and the Early English Novel by Robert Mayer. I…
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In a hands-on ritual that has now largely been replaced by the beep of a bar code reader, borrowing a library book for many decades involved the…
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Do you know John Pudney? Maybe not. But if you were a British reader during World War II, you would have done. Pudney (1909-1977) was a prolific author…
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What does it mean to place one book next to another? What connections does this kind of piling up suggest? My shelves are usually (a) quite messy, and…
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A particular form of (auto)biography could be written by listing unrealised projects: the ideas that sparked, glowed, but which were never seen through…
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In the Bodleian library I look at a small printed book, less than the size of my hand, containing 156 pages of the works of the French author…
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If you are having trouble remembering your sins in seventeenth-century France – if you feel you need some kind of spiritual prompt – then you could do…
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If you are a bibliophile in London in the second half of the nineteenth century – or if you are any kind of reader at all – it’s likely you spend a good…
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In The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901), Sigmund Freud argues that slips of the tongue and the pen constitute moments when repressed thoughts…
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Sir Edward Dering (1598-1644), of Pluckley, in Kent, was an antiquary not always scrupulous with his accounts about the past (he concocted a fake…
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In Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (1925), a plane flies over post-World War One London and seems to write letters in the sky: Dropping dead down the…
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