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Landscape Painted with Tea
May 24, 2007 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Anyone very familiar with Milorad Pavic's Landscape Painted with Tea? (english translation)

This is a super longshot, but it irks me that I can't solve the crossword. Anyone have an faq/solution guide for it?
Also at the end of one of the sections there's a passage in German which I can't read. A summary of that would be much appreciated as well.

I vaguely also remember reading somewhere that the words in the ending can be read in different sequences to produce different outcomes? If someone could clear that up that'd be great too.
posted by juv3nal to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hm, thanks for the reminder. I can't help you with this one, but it's something I've been wanting to solve, as well.

Words read in different sequences to produce different outcomes? Are you sure you're not confusing Landscape etc with Pavic's Dictionary of the Khazars, which has gimmicky "male" and "female" editions, identical except for one paragraph?

In other matters, if this kind of literary puzzle-solving appeals to you, then you might want to look into OuLiPo, if you haven't already. Harry Mathews is a good place to start - I forget which, but either Tlooth or The Conversions reads like one big extended cryptic crossword.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:32 PM on May 24, 2007



Words read in different sequences to produce different outcomes? Are you sure you're not confusing Landscape etc with Pavic's Dictionary of the Khazars, which has gimmicky "male" and "female" editions, identical except for one paragraph?


No, actually, going back to the book now, I've found where it was mentioned in the book itself:
"This index, like any other in the world, is presented in alphabetical order, but of course it can also be organized differently. If the reder writes out the words of this index in order of appearance in these crosswords or in this Testimonial (following the page numbers given next to them, rather than the alphabetical order), he will get a short, clear answer to his question, and the denoument of the novel will be there."

Thing is, if you follow those instructions, you end up with something that that is not entirely comprehensible and also appears to differ significantly with the upside-down solution that appears at the very back of the book. You get the same words, but the ordering is quite different, so I don't know whether I'm just interpreting the instructions wrong or he's playing a little trick.

I'm well familiar with the oulipo btw ;)
I've even read conversions, though not tlooth.
posted by juv3nal at 9:31 PM on May 24, 2007


Ah, it's been a while. I left my copy of Landscape in a plane seat pocket & the assholes didn't exactly try very hard to retreive it for me, despite the plane terminating for the night.

* shakes fist at Qantas

That Taxonomy of Detective Story Plots sounds like awesome MetaFiction! Did you find it eventually?

Vaguely related, I picked up a second-hand hardcover once called A Journey in Ladakh (or similar) by Some Guy, coz it was cheap & I've been to Ladakh, and the author describes meeting a crazy Frenchman with wild hair who spoke mostly in palindromes: "Hi! My name is Georges Perec!" (not a palindrome). It came across as one of those wacky-characters-you-meet stories that are stock-standard in travel writing, and there was no indication that the author had any idea who Perec was...
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:14 PM on May 24, 2007


Did you find it eventually?

Naw, I did get some decent ideas off of the incomplete, excerpted chunk of it that's in oulipo compendium. but I know that one's incomplete because I've owned another little oulipo collection that has the whole thing. Owned as in past tense. Grrr.
posted by juv3nal at 11:48 PM on May 24, 2007


You know, Khazar Dictionary style, it could be interesting if the (complete) Taxonomy of Detective Stories itself held the answer to a crime, which our intrepid detective-cum-bibliophile is trying to unravel...
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:18 AM on May 25, 2007


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