Perhaps, it is not good to start with my favourite novel by Milorad Pavic & I should have made a post about his unique bestseller “Dictionary of the Khazars”,but I cannot help it. 🙂 It was my second book read & it impressed me deeply & let me comprehend my own predestination.
The novel is fascinating both in its structure & in the plot. Again the great writer gives us an opportunity to play with the text, to make a novel of our own. Made as a crossword puzzle, “Landscape Painted with Tea” provokes readers’ curiosity & imagination. Most talented readers realize that narration is developed in three dimensions where the author, the reader & the characters are interconnected. A tradition of the interlineal text Pavic skilled so well adds to the novel some sophisticated spirit. I would say that the book’s structure is alike a complicated baroque ornament: either you enjoy it or get bored with.
“…Landscape Painted with Tea or novel for crossword puzzle lovers, actually a crossword-puzzle novel, can be read across (and in that case the emphasis is on the love story) or down (in that case the emphasis is on the characters of the novel). The heroine of the book falls in love with the reader…” Milorad Pavic (cit).
The novel itself tells about Afanasij Svilar, a Yugoslavian architect facing his midlife crisis. No matter the brilliant education & talent, he does not follow his Divine predestination, it tortures him & makes to begin searching his own past, roots & himself. The Interlineal story tells history of Mount Athos, the Hilandar Monastery & its monks divided in two psychological types: hermits & those who belong to a community.
The genius of the novel is to make its reader to face the essential matters of our life: who we are, what we live for & what is going to come out of our existence at the end.
Some quotes: “The live time is lent to us”. “What in October seems to be March is only January”. “As a man whose soul is filled with silence is different from the one whose heart is filled with peace”.