Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for December 23rd, 2011

Our love in a cottage

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Yesterday, I wrote in great detail about my acquisition of a Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, but I didn’t tell the full story. Inside the dictionary’s slipcase, in the drawer that contained its accompanying magnifying glass, I discovered this card. And while I’ve found a lot of interesting things in used books over the years—a leaflet from the Famous Writers School, a notecard listing interesting facts about snails, a three-page letter to someone’s mother in a copy of Gravity’s Rainbow—this might be the most fascinating, and moving. For those who can’t make it out, it includes a photocopy of the dictionary’s entry on Love, which reads in part:

c. Love in a cottage: a euphemistic expression for marriage with insufficient means.

And written beneath it:

I’d not trade our Brooklyn “love in a cottage” for anything in the world. Much love,
R.D.  12/25/85

Whoever R.D. is, or was, I’m sure this dictionary made a beautiful Christmas present twenty-six years ago, and I’m honored to have it in my own little cottage. Happy holidays to you and yours, and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

Written by nevalalee

December 23, 2011 at 10:00 am

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Written by nevalalee

December 23, 2011 at 8:00 am

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