#bookdate with Milorad Pavic

Because I can’t imagine a better story to go with the fairy tale, fairtrade coffee shop up in Richmond, the Hollyhock Cafe other than Landscape painted with tea.


It’s been ten years since I found Pavic’s poetic novels but I got the Landscape almost a year ago and just like with something too precious to touch, I’ve been hiding it between other lovely books that sleep and dream about being read.

I started reading it on the train to Richmond and realised how overwhelming it is, how full of poetry. This is not an easy read, it takes time to sink in and travel through your head to toes.

“Words grow on you like hair” (p.17)

I wish they grew on me like hair, it would all be so easy. So easy to write the letter I’m too scared to write, because at the end of it, when it’s all signed and folded, that will be it. It will make me silent, but certainly not quiet.



*chapter 4, where I’m trying to go back

time flowed from the end to the beginning of life (Dictionary of the Khazars, M. Pavic)


there are only the ghosts of spiders from that corner in our balcony, that corner where we used to listen to the town’s urban dogs and cats and where we smoked our evenings out before going to sleep.

There’s only the smell of the neighbourhood’s smokehouses and of our spoken, sometimes written words; the smell of paper.

The blackness of our garden and our silence, fear digging up the ground; the earth, our roots digging themselves up amongst bunches of poppy flowers and spring onions, fresh garlic waking up its leaves with a sound so strange (like a howling), this green werewolf.

Our roots, our insectariums, our herbarium – a systematically arranged collection of dried plants.

And then a song to deeply fall asleep.