On opening a Penguin copy of Flaubert’s Bouvard and Pecuchet  that’s been unopened on my shelves for years, opened today as I am near finishing Sentimental Education and speculating on what next to read.
On the title page this inscription:
To … The Marx Bros. films & this book are all I need to survive in this stupid, humorless world…and sex, yes, I can’t forget sex. I hope you like it. The book that is, not sex. Well I hope you like sex too, for that matter. Enough of this. I really must be going…Hello, Hello, Hello! Love …
All capitals by the way. Inside a bookmark inserted at p.49. This advertises a New York bookstore Bookshelf – we sell new and used paperbacks. Address for any American readers out there: 135 Windsor Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215.
I don’t remember if I bought this book in New York – which would have been 2000 – or in the UK. Spelling of humorless suggests inscriber was American. Either way, this Flaubert has well travelled since 1978.