25 January 2010


I admit I wasn't quite prepared for the brilliance of this novel, which was Pamuk's debut according to the cover but I seem to remember this was contradicted by the article I read in the LRB and which persuaded me to get hold of this particular book in the first place*. Whatever the case, debut or simply early, The White Castle is powerfully imaginative and seductive. Even more so for me perhaps in the present moment in that superficially some of its aspects dovetail with some of my current research. I'd best leave off talking about that here as I'll tie myself in knots trying not to give too much away. Forgive me, I'm rusty at this. Point is, read Pamuk's book, it's really very remarkable.

MEANwhile I realise I forgot to record here that I had an operation last week. I mean, I'm out of the habit of diarising but I just wanted to set it down. It was nothing too worrisome or drastic - a double hernia repair. I like it that they call it a repair. I took the bus very early on a freezing Monday morning last week, to Homerton hospital. By 8.30 or so I was prepped and ready to go. B collected me at around 1.30 I think it was. The memory is very hazy because of course I was high as a kite on anaesthetics and analgesics. While I was out they repaired the inguinal hernia (in the groin, that is), and the umbilical. So I am repaired. Nine days on it is still somewhat tender in the vicinities. But I am able to get around. I write from Charing Cross Road in fact, the revamped cafe on the first floor of Foyles (bookshop).

*The White Castle his third book apparently but first to be translated into English.

13 January 2010

The pleasures of hibernation in a big city. Holed up all day playing with Buzz, washing up, sleeping. Glimpsing the garden wearing its fresh white mantle. Then heading out into the damp dark, buttoned and booted, to take the tube to town for a spot of reading. Wintering in the metropolis has much to recommend it. Incidentally I am still enjoying The White Castle but once again I find that in the act of reading literature in translation I am more than occasionally put off my stroke by inelegant constructions in the prose. I don't have Turkish and so cannot know, but I'm guessing Pamuk's style must be smoother, more musical, than the English version published by Faber and Faber.

11 January 2010


It's been ages. I am glad to be back. This is something of a tokenistic post to remind myself how to do this. Since I last posted I have had a show on, and written half of another, and started plotting a third. So all is well on that front. Miniaturism has been on a little hiatus but should return in the spring.

I am reading Orhan Pamuk's The White Castle. And have been watching the darts, avidly.