Link here to www.jasongoodwin.net.
You know your book’s done when those two words appear at the bottom of the page.
Triumph – or disaster?
I can’t tell. Sometimes I think that finishing a book is the literary equivalent of a one-night stand: breakfast is yet to come. That’s when you get to see your work in proof – the whole book set in type, like a real book. That’s often when you realise if a section of dialogue is flat, a description jars the pace of the narrative, or the story is moving too fast.
That’s when you feel like a sculptor, too, working happily on clay. It’s still yours to shape.
In The Bellini Card Yashim’s old friend Palewski, Polish Ambassador to the Sublime Porte (the Ottoman Court) is sent to Venice to track down a lost painting of Mehmed II.
I examine the proofs and I wonder – does Yashim enter this story the way I want? It’s clear, on this printed page: yes, it works. It makes me smile.
Just a few others have read The Bellini Card. And they smiled, too.
“The janissary tree” appeared in Swedish a couple of weeks ago, spendidly translated by Hans Bergren (never let anybody else translate!)
“Yesterday I bought “The snake stone” finished it today, ordered “lords of the Horizons” and await “the Bellini card” with great expactation.
This was and will be great, not that many good reading experiences around.
Swedish friends have told me that Hans’s translation is superb: so glad you think so, too. The cover of the Snake Stone – Ormstenens gåta- is magnificent, as well, don’t you agree?