The Lonely Kitchen in John Le Carré

‘Anywhere else in the house – even in bed – you can cut yourself off, read your books, deceive yourself that solitude is best. But in the kitchen the signs in incompleteness are too strident. Half of one black loaf. Half of one coarse sausage. Half an onion. Half a pint of milk. Half a lemon. Half a packet of black tea. Half a life.’

A beautiful passage of writing about a half-life in a half-kitchen in John Le Carré’s ‘Smiley’s People’. The kitchen is a space that suggests to the narrator the need for relation and reciprocity, his own loneliness is spelled out in his observations of the other man’s kitchen. 


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