I am reading Craig Raine's Heartbreak at the moment, and enjoying it very much. It is very much a poet's novel, but none the worse for that.
However, I paused, shocked, when I reached page 30 of the hardback edition, in the second story of the novel, that of Gallagher, a poet and Frazer, a law professor. Raine writes, of their meeting in the Law Library at Charlottesville, 'One day, she dropped her armful of books when Frazer's face appeared from between LJ6: 88.00-280.00 and LJ7:280.01-400.00 LJ was Dewey for law journals.' She drops her books because Frazer's face is badly burnt after a road accident.
I'm terribly sorry but the shelf marks Raine gives are nothing to do with Melvil Dewey and his Decimal Classification. They look to me like one of those home-made schemes, supplementary to a bibliographic classification, use for finding material on shelves that many libraries develop. Can anyone shed any light?
Here, for example, is a screenshot from the University of Virginia's online catalogue, Virgo, which shows no call number anything like the version Raine gives: