Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Orhan Pamuk in The New Yorker

Tonight I read the most beautiful essay in The New Yorker magazine. Entitled My Father's Suitcase, it was written by Turkish Nobel Prize-winner Orhan Pamuk.

Here's the link.

And a few excerpts I especially liked:
A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is. When I speak of writing, the image that comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or a literary tradition; it is the person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and, alone, turns inward. Amid his shadows, he builds a new world with words.

To write is to transform that inward gaze into words, to study the worlds into which we pass when we retire into ourselves, and to do so with patience, obstinacy, and joy.

Sometimes my father would stretch out on a divan, abandon the book or the magazine in his hand, and drift off into a dream, losing himself for the longest time. When I saw this expression on his face, which was so different from the one he wore for the joking, teasing, and bickering of family life, when I saw the first signs of an inward gaze, I would understand, with trepidation, that he was discontented. Now, many years later, I understand that this discontent is the basic trait that turns a person into a writer.


Lynnster said...

I love this. I'm going to make a note to take some time to read more of it later in the week, swamped-ness and busy-ness be damned.

And hope you had a wonderful birthday. I didn't get a chance to get by here before midnight, but hope it was a good day for you.

melusina said...

Yea, he is an amazing writer. Too bad his own country can't accept him.
In time, hopefully the Turkish opinion will change and writers won't have to go through what we has gone through.