Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Once Again to Zelda by Marlene Wagman-Geller
This lovely paper-over-board book (kind of like a hardcover without the dust jacket) collects the stories behind the dedications at the beginning of a variety of books, both classic and contemporary. Sylvia Plath dedicated The Bell Jar to her friends who offered her refuge after the end of her marriage ("To Elizabeth and David"). Jacqueline Susann dedicated Valley of the Dolls to her poodle ("To Josephine, who sat at my feet, positive I was writing a sequel). And of course F. Scott Fitzgerald dedicated The Great Gatsby to his wife Zelda.
It's not exactly scholarly literature but it's an interesting concept and a breezy read, with a short chapter allotted to each story. It's somewhat troubling that most of the sources at the back of the book are from wikipedia, but if you can get past that, it's worth checking out.