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Landscape Painted with Tea
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Landscape Painted with Tea

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  784 ratings  ·  33 reviews
By the author of the highly acclaimed literary bestseller "Dictionary of the Khazars, " "Landscape Painted with Tea, " Milorad Pavic's second novel, is a tale of mysterious quest that is part modern Odyssey and part crossword puzzle. It begins with the story of a brilliant but failed architect in Belgrade and his search for his father, an officer who vanished in Greece dur ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 1st 1991 by Vintage (first published 1988)
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Community Reviews

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This book opens like your standard novel of a middle aged architect's life falling apart and his road trip to Mount Athos to search for his father who disappeared during the second world war with your usual division of men into either cenobites (sociable, communal, and adherents of Jesus Christ) or idiorrhythmics (solitary, generally hermits, and devotees of the Virgin Mary) (view spoiler) ...more
You might ask yourself: "Isn't it a bit too much to expect, that a reader should become an author at the very end of the book?" - "Would it be too much to expect a person solving crossword puzzles to make use of a pencil?" While possibly a poor translation of the Serbian original, the quote should suffice as a glimpse into the unique relationship the book and it's characters have with the reader (while certainly no metafiction). In fact, it is the first novel which made me pick up a pencil and u ...more
Hmmmm. I wanted to like this book more. The author is a poet and it shows. This book is densely packed with arresting images, entertaining descriptions and entirely unpredictable events. I don't mind a disjointed plot, twisted time sequences, and surrealism in general, but by the end, I just didn't care anymore. While it was sometimes beautifully written and always inventive, the last third of the book or so I found I was having to force myself to get back to it, as the author seemed to become l ...more
Kind of like Marquez in eastern Europe, this book switches off and on between playful, haunting, and tragic, and ends up just being downright cool in its characterization and narrative patterns which keep the reader delightfully engaged in spite of the heavy mystery that pervades many of the books most beautiful moments. The reader is asked at one point to fall in love with one of the characters, and the last two thirds of the book are arranged as a crossword puzzle. Worth the trip.
Each sentence is a pleasure to read
Artem Huletski
Милорад плетёт свой узор, и из него получается то словарь, то кроссворд, то книга-перевёртыш, то ящик для письменных принадлежностей... А то и вовсе пейзаж, нарисованный чаем.

upd. Прочитал эту книгу как идиоритмик и как кенобит, первый подход мне ближе. XX век в литературе начал Джойс, а закончил Павич, но их работы ещё в полной мере не оценены.
Vinko Vrbanic
Najviša ocjena. Naš Milorad Pavić je poznatiji po Hazarskom Rječniku, ali mislim da je Predeo bolji. Knjigu sam čitao u avionu, pridremao, i neko mi mazno. Vala, neka mu, barem če pročitati nešto što valja.
Louis-Jean Levasseur
Pavić retrace l'itinéraire de deux communautés monastiques serbes qui gagnèrent le Mont-Athos autour du XIe siècle : Les cénobites, vivant sur le principe de la collaboration, et les idiorythmiques, moines solitaires consacrés à la Vierge. Or, les cénobites jouissaient de privilèges au sein du monastère grec, et nombreux étaient les idiorythmiques qui, désirant changer d'ordre en dépit de la ségrégation spirituelle, disparaissaient et, s'étant fait oublier, réapparaissaient des années plus tard ...more
Sep 28, 2010 Vines is currently reading it
Poetry through and through. Every senntence in this novel is a punchline.
I wanted to like this book. However, reading this book was like walking in water up to my thighs in the ocean. The words were weighty, written as, it appeared, to purposefully impede my progress. Every once in awhile a wave of amazing insight would push against me, bringing some novelty of freshness.

The story felt disjointed at its worst, interesting, but not compelling at its best. Sometimes it seemed that the translation might have been missing something or that a colloquialism or cliche just
Robert H
Brilliant, beautiful, weird, obtuse, and ultimately satisfying if you let it be what it is. If a novel is a road to somewhere and you occasionally look out the window, you'll hate this book. If the road is a means to experience things as they come then read this book. It takes a certain sense of whimsy, and a love of unusual language. If you like Marquez and Murakami, this is the deep end of the pool.
Scarlett Sims
Jun 05, 2009 Scarlett Sims rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pretentious people
Shelves: post-modern, leisure
I heard about this book from an article about the 10 worst indexes (it was for school but don't think it wasn't fascinating). It had some interesting things going on pertaining to the nature of the relationship between book and reader and was in some ways a concept novel; my problem is that either I didn't get it or it just wasn't executed well. There were times when I thought the book was doing some really interesting things and times when I had absolutely no idea what was going on. It was a ha ...more
This was the only novel in our house that I hadn't read and wasn't a Chinese novel when I wanted to start a new book the other day. Though I think we have it because it has something to do with dictionaries and thus Colin's thesis. Hummm. I really must read more books this semester. Be read I mean not look at pictures of buildings with text next to it. I'll do more of that too, but one must be diverse.

Interesting book at the end of the day. More than anything it was immensely confusing, but in t
Pregosta, prebogata metaforika za mojo sedanjo bralno eksistenco. KEr sem bil leta 1989 ob prvembranju navdušen, citiram Pavića: "I knjigu, ako od nje očekujete čudo, treba čitati dva puta. Jednom je treba pročitati u mladosti dok ste mlađi odnjenih junaka; drugi put kad stezašli u godine i kada junaci knjige postanu mlađi od vas. Tako čete ih videti sa obe strane njihovih godina, a i oni će moći vas da stave naispit sa one strane sata, gde vreme stoji..."
Sofija Bojanovic
I was really trying hard to understand and love this book, but it did not happen. I think it should be read at least two or three times, and not always page by page, but to read it as author suggested it - a little bit here, a little bit there... Sentences are very well organized, and if we analyse it separately it would be remarkable - poetic thoughts are well combined and are very inspirational. But, when you read it together, as a book, it just doesn't make sense! Some parts I have read over, ...more
Nathan Eilers
Dec 04, 2008 Nathan Eilers rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who are brave and interested
Shelves: fiction, translation
Unlike any book I've read. Pavic begins with an interesting and straight-forward account of a son seeking his father. Then he splits his book into several narratives, weaving among them as he chooses.

The most amazing aspect of this book is that it's structured like a crossword puzzle. You can read the book cover-to-cover in the usual way, or you can skip ahead and read the chapters that all pertain to one narrative. Great prose and good story. I ended up finishing this book after the class I rea
I decided to read this book years after I read and re-read "The Dictionary of the Khazars"—which happens to be one of the best and most interesting books I've read. In the case of "Landscape…", though, the hyper baroque style lacked the depth and History research that supported "The Dictionary…". Thus, the habit of incorporating oxymorons and unrelated concepts into the same sentence became somewhat excessive and distracting.
But still, Pavic was quite a respectable writer, and we'll miss him an
I stuck it out for 200 pages and am now calling it quits. It's beautifully written, but more like a 400 page poem and I just don't have the patience for it. I appreciate it but am finally ready to admit that it is just not my thing.
This book has taken a long (for me, very long) time to read. It could be just that I’m teaching four classes, I’ve had out-of-town visitors, etc. And the compulsive knitting has eaten away at my reading time. But it’s also that this book jumps around narratively, and it’s tough to grab onto the next thread of narrative when you’re already sleepy. Strange, dark, dreamy, sensual, disjointed. Mt. Athos to LA.
Irada Rabah
Oct 05, 2013 Irada Rabah is currently reading it
This is a difficult, but a very rewarding read. I started reading it first when my daughter was born; she will turn 11 this November and I'm still nowhere near finishing the book.
You read, you ponder, you despair at the language, the layers, the translation and then you read again. RIP Milorad Pavich, you are gone much too early.
Along with Borges and Cortázar, the Serbian writer Milorad Pavić was a great experimenter in non-linear narratives, creating dense labyrinths of prose, full of historical and mythical stories, parables and anecdotes and strange Balkan magic.
I'm not sure how to understand this book-- but I'm thoroughly enjoying it all the same. Some really creative use of language here.

Later: still not sure how I feel about this one. The presence of pseudo-folklore/folkloric practices got to be old pretty quickly.
Bizarre, but beautifully poetic. Loved the first half. The second half took a turn for the weird, but it made sense at the end.
Update: this book has stuck with me and I often think of the meaning of the monastics and the community/individual dynamic.
Jim Agustin
Read this a long time ago and can't remember much of the details of the book, but what I do remember is wanting to read it again after much time had passed. Mesmerizing is what I thought of it back then. And I expect to feel that again soon
Robert Seitz
Not going to finish this one. The first three pages were nice and strange, but every sentence is subject to twists and cleverness. I can't find enough charm to make the prose endurable.
Finally admitting I'm not going to finish this. A shame, because I've so enjoyed some of Pavić's other work, but this one just isn't going to happen for me. Not sure why.
I think I'll need to read it at least two more times to understand it better.
When I finished it I wanted to scream, though.
Mar 07, 2010 Ike added it
I am never going to finish this book. Entirely too much nonsense. It worked with the Khazars, but not here.
Anton Daneyko
This was definitely something really new for me. A very unique language.
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Milorad Pavić was a Serbian poet, prose writer, translator, and literary historian.

Pavić wrote five novels which were translated into English: Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel, Landscape Painted With Tea, Inner Side of the Wind, Last Love in Constantinople and Unique Item as well as many short stories not in English translation.
More about Milorad Pavić...
Dictionary of the Khazars (Male Edition) The Inner Side of the Wind, or The Novel of Hero and Leander Last Love in Constantinople: A Tarot Novel for Divination Кутија за писање Unique Item

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