Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Annotated Pregnant Widow

I've just finished reading Martin Amis's latest book The Pregnant Widow, which I (naturally) picked up in a charity shop (hardback, 3rd impression, 99p). It's a partial return to form, but what I found interesting (vaguely) was why the previous owner had underlined or highlighted certain passages and corrected spelling mistakes. What impels people to deface books with their jottings is curious, especially if they're going to give the book away. But maybe that's the point – for the next owner to ponder why (though corrected spelling mistakes I can understand – aren't books proofed and spell-checked? I even have a professional sub-editor for this blog. Isn't that right, Mel?).

Here are the highlighted/corrected passages:

'...if we all looked liked bowling balls.' (The 'd' after 'like' crossed out – spelling mistake, p.55)

'After the storm. We display ourselves. Her. Down by the pool.' ('e' inserted after 'Her' – spelling mistake, p.57)

But dreams were non-smoking. (Underlined, p. 380)

'He's back. We talked.' And Kendrik, who was very dishonest but utterly undevious (a combination that would not serve him well), (Highlighted with a bracket and a question mark, p. 383)

What kind of poet was Keith Nearing, so far? He was minor exponent of humorous self-deprecation (was there only one culture on earth that went in for this?). (Highlighted with a bracket and an exclamation mark, p.401)

She combined beauty and dirt, like city snow. (Underlined, p.412)

'More than ever. Actually I'm getting fed up with Rome. It asks so little of you. I need something with a bit more bite.' (Highlighted with a bracket, p.417)

'…The Winter's Tale…' (Correction: 'The' crossed out and replaced with 'A', p.419)

…of a vanished England, all white, all middle-class, and all middle-aged – England before the invention of colour. (Highlighted with a bracket, p. 452)

1 comment :

Mel said...

Correct. Although I'm currently on a chicken pox vacation.