I am, indeed, abandoning the Arundhati Roy novel in favor of a non-fiction book by John M. Hull entitled Touching the Rock, with an introduction by the late Oliver Sacks. Hull went completely blind in this 30’s, and the book is a meditation on living in utter darkness. I am already deeply engaged emotionally with this book, and will write more about it. I feel a bit as if I am abandoning Roy — her opus deserves to be read, but by people who can understand it better than I could. I think I can do polemic as subtext, but not as the main story — at least in a novel.
Just after I declared my fascination with marmite to be over, I was at the Crumpet Shop and a family in front of me ordered it. From the inflection of their English I think they were Brits. The marmite looked a bit like molasses. The tiny jar here is the marmite; next to it is a tub of Nutella. You can see the balance of savory v. sweet among the regulars who eat crumpets here in Seattle.