A Landscape Painted in Tea ("Предео сликан чajeм") is a 1988 novel by Serbian author Milorad Pavic. It is one of his best, and a classic example of his particular brand of postmodernism.

The book is divided into two parts: the First Book, called "A small night-time novel" deals with a man named Afanasie Svilar and his efforts to rebuild himself and find his father. It takes place in Serbia and Greece, as well as other Balkan countries. This is a sort of introduction to the "real book", the Second--"A novel for lovers of crosswords".

The second book is actually a crossword (warping the form of the text is Pavic's forte). In the beginning, one is given the crossword itself; the hints are the actual chapters. When it is solved, the ending of the book is revealed. This book is about Svilar's Dead Souls-esque deal with the Devil and various other things, too numerous to describe here. There is a landscape painted in tea in this book.

All of Pavic's novels are organized around central themes. The theme of this is a dichotomy, superficially between two types of monks at Mount Athos, but actually applicable to all humanity. One type of monk is an ideorhythmic(or anchoret); he lives alone and fends for himself. The other type is a cenobite; he is part of the Monastery proper and lives communally. According to the author, some occupations lean to one side or the other, and generations alternate between them, and this distinction is one of the determining factors of life.

This book is incomparably original. It is well written, and as always rich with local color and Pavic's style. It is available in the US--if you see a copy that you can read, do. It is the experience of a lifetime.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.