Sunday, 30 January 2011

Huysmans’ Bus Ticket

A couple of weeks ago I posted on my blog the cover art for a 1959 Penguin edition of J.-K. Huysmans’ Against Nature, in ‘a new translation by Robert Baldick’ and featuring a particular savage art-nouveau sphinx emblazoned on its front. The book also yielded a bus ticket pressed between pages 105 and 106, near the end of chapter VIII, suggesting that the reader set the copy aside and never picked it up again. Beyond the fact that it’s a London Transport issue and cost the traveller seven old pence, I can make nothing of it. Does anyone know how to read a bus ticket? I’m curious to know any details about what the route may have been, where the unknown reader boarded the bus and how far seven pence would have taken him. I reproduce this particularly intriguing found object above in the hope that someone might be able to interpret it for me.


  1. info on route 105 here

  2. I should have guessed that Zone Styx Travelcard would quickly point me in the right direction - many thanks. Another interesting question arises, however: According to the wikipedia entry:'In 1959 the 105 was extended from Hayes station to Hayes North...' Did our reader get off a Hayes station of perhaps carry on to this new destination? Des Esseintes, the hero of Huysmmans' novel, never got any further in his trip to London than the Gare du Nord. Our unknown reader seems to have been a little more intrepid.