This week I went to see a luxury flat in the heart of London’s swanky financial centre. It has no storage space other than a single walk-in wardrobe but it’s minutes from my office and I could do a lot with the extra time, couldn’t I? It has lost over twenty-five percent of its value in the recession and is currently quite affordable. Should I pick it up cheap or hold out for somewhere with a cupboard and an alcove for a bookcase?
As I teeter on the verge of giving away all my possessions, I am asking myself, Am I a reader or a writer?
“You’ve read enough,” my wife keeps telling me. “You know enough. Stop reading now and just write.”
But currently I am immersed in an involuted gothic story from the Fantasmagoriana called The Family Portraits.
I’m reading it for the third time. The Fantasmagoriana is a self-published book, translated from the German by A.J. Day and C. Vorwerk. I bought it nearly a year ago and I’ve only just got around to reading it. I suppose if I read every story in it three times then it will turn out to be good value and I won’t regret keeping it instead of giving it away with the others.
The Family Portraits is a very dense story and has gripped my imagination even though the plot is Byzantine, the prose is clunky and there are some annoying little typing errors here and there. If I were writing this story I would do it very differently.
But am I a writer or a reader?