Monday, September 03, 2012


A boat that does not touch water but looks down on the Thames from a great height. A boat designed to remain forever anchored in a famous work of literature. A boat temporarily moored on the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Concert Hall. What is it? 

It's Le Roi des Belges, from Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness, AKA A Room for London. I was among a few of Teju Cole's friends privileged to visit the Boat last week during his short residency in this eccentric and beautifully crafted fantasy vessel with a panoramic view of London at its most dazzling. At the above link you can listen to Teju's illuminating podcast recorded on the boat. 

A wonderful time-lapse video of how the Room/Boat was built is here .

The London Review of Books bookshop near the British Museum was host to Teju Cole's reading from Open City, his acclaimed prizewinning novel, and the queue for his signature was long and animated.



zoe said...

what an exciting event!

i watched your video of demon-shredding; i must admit the silence + mask was very effective, the task must have taken hold very well, i would think. i don't know how i would ever be able to destroy things i had painted, that must have been very difficult, and i particularly liked number 5 ;)--in fact, i was wondering, once you had painted them out, did you feel any attachment to them at all? i mean, were you happy to shred them, or was it, in fact, difficult?

Dave said...

I see from a notice on the comments at your main site that Echo/JS-Kit/Haloscan are going to abscond in October and leave you high and dry. It looks as if it should be possible to export all your comments and switch to Disqus, which is a much more reliable (and free!) commenting service. I hope you're planning on doing that.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Zoe, I didn't mind shredding them at all. In fact it felt quite liberating, as if I really was exorcising negative stuff. But in reality I'm not sure whether once is enough! Maybe the ritual should be something like brushing one's teeth - a daily ritual? The demons are clingy!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Dave, many thanks. I will look into Disqus which I didn't know about - I hope it works with Mac? I've been searching for a free comment service since the notice.