Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Writer's Secret

This article by Orhan Pamuk in the most recent New Yorker has been one (very long) mantra for my night time bidding adieus. Not sure how many times I've re-read the entire piece or how many times I've jumped into its in-betweens, but I've yet to tire from its multiple readings.

"As I sit at my table, for days, months, years, slowly adding words to empty pages, I feel as if I were bringing into being that other person inside me, in the same way that one might build a bridge or a dome, stone by stone. As we hold words in our hands, like stones, sensing the ways in which each is connected to the others, looking at them sometimes from afar, sometimes from very close, caressing them with our fingers and the tips of our pens, weighing them, moving them around, year in and year out, patiently and hopefully, we create new worlds."

and

"The writer’s secret is not inspiration—for it is never clear where that comes from—but stubbornness, endurance. The lovely Turkish expression “to dig a well with a needle” seems to me to have been invented with writers in mind."

How wonderful. I've yet to nose-dive into one of his works as Alcessa seems to have done more than once. Definitely, on 2007's To-Read list.

Any suggestions as to which of his books I should start with?

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Comments:
This is the first I've read him, too. I'm thinking I'll start with My Name Is Red.
 
I can't believe I've been such a dolt about not reading him earlier. He has the lineage of 2 of my favorites, Mr. DeVries and Mr. Ondaatje, namely, that he was a poet first and a novelist later on. The care he shows with words in that essay are evidence of his painstakingly careful juggling with verbal possibilities.
 
Send a mailing address and I'll pop my hardback "My Name Is Red" in the post. I'd rather recycle books than move them.
 
I also own a copy of "Istanbul" and it seems to be a nice (autobiographical) read, too, but "Red" is much more interesting. And I set my eyes on "Snow" as the next one...

Orhan Pamuk is/was quite present in German media, still I never thought I'd read him till he received the Nobel Prize. A banal reason, indeed, but a very good choice.

Darko, that is a very beautiful article you linked, thank you, it made my hangoverish 1st January suddenly a very promising one!
 
I got 'My Name is Red' and could not put it down, even the cover is a joy! It is a marvelous book, combines Ottoman era mystery and just wonderful writing, of course a good translator is key to this sort of thing, let's face it, the odds of my learning Turkish are slim to none! :)
 
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