Fish, Alive and Flapping

Friday, 7 February

Happy to be back in Berlin too. The sun is shining; Elsa and I ran in the Friedrichshain Park.

We went to Horvath’s for supper last night ( On one of the most charming stretches in Berlin, the Paul-Lincke Ufer, in Kreuzberg. David seemed to be having regrets about the place we are buying in Alt-Treptow but I defend our edgier choice. Horvath is to be recommended. The place is tasteful without being pretentious. Ditto for the food. More than tasteful. Delicious.

I have temporarily abandoned Murakami for Ein Perfekter Freund, by the Swiss author Martin Suter. Ingrid, a German friend who very kindly and patiently accepts to speak German with me, has asked me to join a book group. I ran a couple at the American Library in Paris but have never wanted to be a participant. As John Maynard Keynes might say: when the facts change, Madam, I change. Standards must be adapted in new places. Suffice it to say on the Suter: even though I understand this novel reasonably well too, I will be happy to get back to Murakami.

I save the biggest news for last: I have finally dared open the novel I abandoned for German lessons upon our arrival in Berlin last winter. Currently it’s called Civilisation française, though this will not last.

Two important points:

  1. Getting back to work makes me feel whole again.
  2. What I’ve written so far isn’t as bad as I’d feared. The fish is still flapping.