Thursday, June 26, 2008

Page 123, sentence 5

I'm home with my older son who's home sick from school, so I finally have time to do this book meme thing Kirsty of Galaxy tagged me for.

The meme works this way: you pick up a book closest to you (in this case, my bedside as Kirsty has stipulated), turn to page 123, and blog the fifth sentence.

If I had done this meme earlier this week, I would have been blogging Stephen Jay Gould's Dinosaur in a Haystack, but as it is, this is now on top of my pile (because I'm actually reading it): Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red.

Page 123, sentence 5:

A city's intellect ought to be measured not by its scholars, libraries, miniaturists, calligraphers and schools, but by the number of crimes insidiously committed on its dark streets over thousands of years.
If so, Melbourne's doing pretty well, then.

Oh, and I really am enjoying the book.

Should I tag or not? Or take a leaf out of Ampersand Duck's book (heh heh) and not "do the tag thing" and say, "Follow your dreams".

Hmm. I'm going to tag unique_stephen from
Emunctory, Helen of Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony, Gen from reeling and writhing, Tim from Sterne, and Ariel from Jabberwocky after all because I'm curious about what books they've got near them.

I would like to tag Mike from
The Peasants are Revolting, but his wife has just had a baby, so I doubt there's much time for reading in his house at the moment, and the last thing he needs is a meme to do. Congratulations and all the best to you and your family, Mike!

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At June 26, 2008 11:47 am, Blogger Tim said...


At June 26, 2008 4:10 pm, Blogger genevieve said...

And I'm on the job. Just after I get the soup on pour le diner.

At June 26, 2008 7:02 pm, Blogger Kirsty said...

Oh, I think this meme will have the effect of adding to the already teetering book pile. Actually, your sentence made me think of Rome that I'm watching on DVD at the moment; that city must be quite the genius.

At June 26, 2008 9:49 pm, Blogger Ariel said...

Done, too! This was a nice little short & sweet meme.

I like your sentence ... you lucked out on that one.

At June 27, 2008 9:41 am, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

Ariel, I'm uncertain if it were luck so much as rigging it. I took the rule of 5th 'sentence' literally, which meant ignoring the first lines of the page because they weren't a full sentence, and starting my count from the first full sentence. So yes, luck, and a crowbar.

I really like that sentence. And it refers to Istanbul, in which the novel (so far) is set. The sentence immediately after the one I blogged is: "By this logic, doubtless, Istanbul is the world's most intelligent city."

I'm sure the same could be said of Rome, Kirsty.

It is an astonishing book, and I'm enjoying Pamuk's lush, rich detail, akin to the rich detail of medieval Ottoman and other Islamic illuminated manuscripts.

Now I am really regretting missing the exhibition of illuminated manuscripts at the Vic State Library – mostly European illumination, I'm sure, but the richness of illumination would have been similar. It has also got me thinking about (contemporary) illustrated books for adults, a topic I'm going to research for a post some time soon.

Any ideas or suggestions, anyone?

At July 01, 2008 1:56 pm, Blogger unique_stephen said...

I will, i will, I'm awfully slow at the meam thing

At July 28, 2008 10:34 pm, Blogger Hackpacker said...

Interesting to see another Pamuk fan. And a nice blog btw.

At August 11, 2008 2:27 pm, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

Thanks, hackpacker. I've hit a wall with 'Red' lately, but I've been promising myself to return to it soon. I was quite inspired to work up something about illustration and illustrated books for adults – that aren't graphic novels. I will have to go back to that soon.


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