April 19, 2006
Ministers and Mysteries
In our country, as everyone knows, we don't have a Minister of Literature and Libraries, but we do have a Minister of Story-Telling. He resides in the Ministry of Common Sense which is situated underneath Victoria Station (just next to the Victoria Library and Buckingham Palace). He is called Mr Woolly Jumper.
He sent a message to me today by our normal means of correspondence, which is top secret, in which he asked me to stop sending out press releases about the state of the British Library service. While I consider his request, I shall continue to inform everyone on this blog of what is going on in our libraries, or not.
My favourite author of the moment is the Turk, Orhan Pamuk. We share the experience of publishing books about Kars, which is a city in eastern Turkey. Mine is called "The seige of Kars" and is about an event in 1855 in which a wonderful old general called William Fenwick Williams had to concede defeat to the Russian army. Orhan Pamuk's book is called "Snow". Reading his books is like climbing into a bowl of sweet apple crumble: you never know where you are heading but everything is delicious.
Orhan Pamuk was arrested last December and charged with insulting the Turkish parliament because of a story he told about an event that took place 90 years before. We should take our own writers that seriously.
"Snow" by Orhan Pamuk is published in an excellent translation by Maureen Freely by Faber and Faber. ISBN 0571 218318. On this blog we will advertise books, book shops and public libraries. Contact me on email@example.com