October 3, 2003

Found in a Used Book

In a copy of Pushkin's Eugene Onegin I purchased at the wonderful though now-defunct Vassar Book Sale, was the following correspondence between Bob Bernard and Mary Knell.

The note from Bob to Mary, written in pencil on the inner flap of the book, and dated July 12, 1971 reads:

"To Mary,

Our relationship began and ended with Pushkin. May his thought provide the foundation for a different and higher level of rebirth.

Bob ("The Babbling Idiot" or as Russell calls me "The Last Remaining Chaucerian Character") Bernard."

In an undated note, written in pen on 5x7 watermarked paper, Mary replied (emphasis in original):

"Bob:

Here are the things you sent -- I fail to understand why you sent them -- as far as I'm concerned I can see no future in any kind of a relationship between us -- I have no desire whatsoever to see, talk, or receive any materials through the mail from you. Although I appreciate the trouble you went to in regards to the thorazine, I never wanted any drugs from you in the first place.

We're two different kinds of people Bob -- so rather that launch into a tirade (which would be painful for both) concerning your self-importance, etc. I would rather leave things as they are.

I want nothing from you and I can't imagine what you could possibly want from me.

Mary Knell"

What have you found in used books?

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