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Sometimes the notes are arguments with the author along the margins. If I could could talk to authors like Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien, the notes say "I wish you could understand thes text".
Other notes are more sarcastic, saying things like "Please!" "HA!!". One time I tried to think about what the person looked like that wrote "Don't be a ninny" in the margins of The Life of Emily Dickinson.
Students are less detailed only leaving few marks on the margins. One wrote "Metaphor" next to Eliot's stanza. Another one writes "Irony" repeatedly in A Modest Proposal.
Some are like fans cheering from bleachers, shouting things like "Absolutely" "Yes." "Bull's-eye" to authors such as Duns Scouts and James Baldwin. Different punctuation marks rain along the sides of the page.
If you have gone through school and haven't annotated the use of "Man vs. Nature", now is the time to take the steps to make those connections.
Everyone has used the margins to write notes and some only because they didn't want to be lazily reading, but we have our marks on the page.
Even Irish monks in ancient times wrote notes along the margins of gospels about daily things such as the pains of copying, birds singing, or the sun shining through their window. These anonymous men left impressions lasting longer than themselves
And people say you haven't fully experienced Jonathon Reynolds' writing until you have read this work engulfed with Blake's furious markings.
The annotation that I think of most of the time, that I can never remove, was written in Catcher in the Rye that I borrowed from the library on a slow, hot summer day. It was the beginning of high school, I was reading books on my parent's couch in the living room, I felt very lonely and the world seemed so much bigger, when I read the annotation, next to some greasy smeared marks that was written in pencil by a girl that sounds beautiful although I would never see her- "Excuse the egg salas stains, but I'm in love."
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