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I have watched the movie "The Ninth Gate" several times.

I am stumped on one of the three books Corso mentions when he is evaluating the Manhattan collection of the poor man in the wheelchair. His daughter and son-in-law are wanting quick cash for his collection.

Anyway, Corso mentions three books and it is the first one I am not familiar with and am wondering if anyone knows what it is. I have searched and everyone tends to skip the first book. It is the one he tells them to keep because it is a good investment. It sounds like he says "PUR-SEE-LEES". The other two are Don Quixote by Ibarra (the one he buys) and the Hypnerotamachia Poliphili. What is the first one?. For convenience, here is the scene in a short clip. The book in question is at the 29-30 second mark:

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    Welcome to Movies.SE! The video you have tried to include in your answer is showing as unavailable. – F1Krazy Apr 30 at 16:18
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    That's funny. It plays fine on my page. – Dogface Nobody Apr 30 at 21:06
  • Maybe it's region-restricted, then. – F1Krazy Apr 30 at 21:22
  • I just found a short clip of the scene on YouTube. I searched "Ninth Gate Unscrupulous" and it came up – Dogface Nobody May 1 at 17:27
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Well now, one of my all-time favorite movies, The Ninth Gate (1999), and the short novel it is based on, The Club Dumas.

Anyway, according to this site, the transcript shows thusly:

YOU HAVE SOME VERY RARE EDITIONS HERE.

ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO SELL THEM ALL?

THEY'RE NO USE TO FATHER, NOT ANYMORE...

NOT SINCE HE'S BEEN THIS WAY.

HIS LIBRARY WAS HIS WHOLE WORLD.

NOW IT'S JUST A PAINFUL MEMORY.

UNBEARABLY PAINFUL.

I UNDERSTAND.

WELL, AT A ROUGH PRELIMINARY ESTIMATE...

YOU HAVE A COLLECTION HERE... WORTH AROUND $600,000.

600,000...

YES, OR THEREABOUTS.

I'VE PICKED OUT ONE OR TWO VOLUMES THAT MERIT SPECIAL ATTENTION.

THIS "PERSILES", FOR EXAMPLE, IS IMPORTANT. I'D HANG ON TO THAT.

IT WILL NEVER DEPRECIATE. IT'S A GOOD INVESTMENT.

So, from there I ended up in the Wikipedia entry for The Club Dumas, which is a 1993 novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. It is also the novel that Roman Polanski used to base the screenplay for this movie on.

Down the entry there is a section called Literary References, Real Books, Other works mentioned, which includes:

Here is an English translation of this book. The book itself, was completed three days before de Cervantes died.

As it turns out, Miguel de Cervantes also wrote Don Quixote, which is the four book set Dean Corso actually buys from Telfer's son and daughter-in-law. So it would make sense that the Los trabajos de Persiles y Sigismunda would be in the same personal library of the ailing (deceased, in the novel) Andrew Telfer.

My only issue here, is that none of the scripts I can find online include that line. So, either Polanski added ad-hoc, Depp adlibbed it, or it's in the final script, which I can't locate.

But, I think that is what is being referred to here.

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  • I originally wrote this up at work, where we can't watch youtube. My original write was mostly based on the book, and the screenplay's as written, which were fairly different than the original film. For instance, in the novel, Corso doesn't start out in Taillefer's library, while in the screenplays he does, but Telfer committed suicide. In the final cut of the movie it appears Telfer suffered a major stroke. – CGCampbell Apr 30 at 19:44
  • Thank you very much. I had not heard of that book and was not sure how to spell it. Thanks again. Good answer. – Dogface Nobody Apr 30 at 21:04

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