Weekly photo challenge: Mine

I’ve been reluctant to respond to the theme of ‘mine’ – it struck me as a request to show how self-centred and unsharing we can be sometimes.  However, I’ve just realised that I have something I’m pleased to call ‘mine’ because I’ve been using a borrowed one for 15 months.  I don’t need to hang onto it very tightly:  it’s one of those things that no one else would ever want!

In June last year I began working on the translation of a story, reading from a library book which I was the first to borrow since the 1980s.  The story was so good that I soon tried to buy my own copy.  But it’s such a peculiar title and edition that my worldwide search turned up nothing.  Until 2 weeks ago.  I was reminded that persistence pays.

Here’s the library book I’ve been using, printed in 1980:

‘Un Hiver à Majorque’ in ‘Oeuvres Complètes’, George Sand, printed 1980

And here’s ‘mine’, the edition which rewarded my relentless searching.  It came from a bookshop in Geneva complete with an old folded 1920 invoice between its pages.  I was thrilled to find that the book is the original of the library version, meaning the page numbers are the same and I don’t have to rearrange my notes.

‘Un Hiver à Majorque’ and ‘Spiridion’, George Sand, printed 1867

My book is so fragile that page shards are appearing on every surface where I work with it.  But it’s mine and I don’t have to return it to a library.  Every one of its readers from the past 145 years is inspiring me as I translate its words for a new century of readers.

12 Replies to “Weekly photo challenge: Mine”

  1. Amazing that you foound a copy with the same pagination. Good luck with your translation. The translation process could certainly be used for your “mine” subject.

  2. I am interested to know whether all the pages in your precious find had been cut.
    In 1986, I purchased second hand several volumes of a French literary review containing an assortment of essays by and interviews with various literary greats published around 1945. Most of the pages needed cutting! I was therefore the first person to read those copies! I no longer have them (gave them to a school library), so cannot give your more precise detail.

  3. Yes, they were cut, some of them too roughly. The book has been well read and has pencil markings every few pages. However, 2 books I recently requested at the National Library had uncut pages. One of them is related to my translation; its uncut state confirmed that no one (in this town) had ever been interested in the topic, and possibly few people in the world. But if it were available in English… So, I thought, I can fix that.
    Thanks for liking my post. I enjoyed reading your site this morning.

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