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Let´s discuss \"Kara Kitap\"
(13 Messages in 2 pages - View all)
[1] 2
1.       trip
297 posts
 11 Dec 2012 Tue 09:29 am

Selam! I have just finished "Kara Kitap" by Orhan Pamuk, and I liked it very much. In an afterword in my book, translator Maureen Freely talks about the difficulties of capturing the nuances in Turkish writing. She refers to the poet Murat Nemet-Nejat describing Turkish "as a language that can evoke a thought unfolding." She also talks about finding a sentence´s inner logic: "A translation that is utterly faithful to that inner logic will ... open up like a flower to reveal its inner truth."

Oddly, this is how I feel about the entire book. It unfolds, and then it doubles back and unfolds again -- not unlike the streets of old Istanbul that Galip walks. And it is filled with images that repeat and reverberate, not unlike the images in Galip´s mirrors. I loved the references to "Through the Looking Glass" and the way these played against the Sufi stories and images in the book. Lewis Carroll was consumed by wordplay and ciphers, just as Celal is.

I know the works of Lewis Carroll and Edgar Allan Poe, but Mount Kaf and Rumi and the Sufi allusions are all new to me. I am very interested to hear what the Pamuk fans here think of this book, and what you think about this interplay of references. Or anything else you would like to say about the book! I am all ears.

2.       AlphaF
5677 posts
 11 Dec 2012 Tue 10:01 am

 

Quoting trip

Selam! I have just finished "Kara Kitap" by Orhan Pamuk, and I liked it very much. In an afterword in my book, translator Maureen Freely talks about the difficulties of capturing the nuances in Turkish writing. She refers to the poet Murat Nemet-Nejat describing Turkish "as a language that can evoke a thought unfolding." She also talks about finding a sentence´s inner logic: "A translation that is utterly faithful to that inner logic will ... open up like a flower to reveal its inner truth."

Oddly, this is how I feel about the entire book. It unfolds, and then it doubles back and unfolds again -- not unlike the streets of old Istanbul that Galip walks. And it is filled with images that repeat and reverberate, not unlike the images in Galip´s mirrors. I loved the references to "Through the Looking Glass" and the way these played against the Sufi stories and images in the book. Lewis Carroll was consumed by wordplay and ciphers, just as Celal is.

I know the works of Lewis Carroll and Edgar Allan Poe, but Mount Kaf and Rumi and the Sufi allusions are all new to me. I am very interested to hear what the Pamuk fans here think of this book, and what you think about this interplay of references. Or anything else you would like to say about the book! I am all ears.

 

I am amazed to note that Maureen´s English translation of the book seems better than Pamuk´s so called  original masterpiece in Turkish. This observation is common between some other readers I know.

The historical errors in the book or should I say distortion of facts presented therein would also become Maureen more freely.

My theory is that the original book was written in English by Maureen Freely first, than translated into sloppy Turkish by Mr. Pamuk.

 



Edited (12/11/2012) by AlphaF
Edited (12/12/2012) by AlphaF

3.       AlphaF
5677 posts
 11 Dec 2012 Tue 10:19 am

Try "My Name is Red" next.

If you can solve the book, you will understand why Mr. Pamuk received the Nobel Prize.

4.       trip
297 posts
 12 Dec 2012 Wed 08:20 am

AlphaF, it is interesting that you bring up both "My Name Is Red" and the fact that some Turks prefer Pamuk in English translation. I have read "My Name Is Red," and here in America it was featured in a TV program on world literature. In that program, a young Turkish academic said she had read the book in both Turkish and English and found the latter easier to understand. This seems curious to me. Is Pamuk even more layered and open to interpretation in Turkish? Because he seems pretty open to interpretation to me in English!

When I read "My Name Is Red," I thought it was detailed and challenging. But in comparision with "The Black Book," it seems absolutely lean and action-driven. 

I get the feeling, AlphaF, that you are not a complete fan of Pamuk. Tell me why. Do you feel he takes a political stance in his books? He seems more of a humanist than anything else to me.



Edited (12/12/2012) by trip

5.       AlphaF
5677 posts
 12 Dec 2012 Wed 09:28 am

 

Quoting trip

AlphaF, it is interesting that you bring up both "My Name Is Red" and the fact that some Turks prefer Pamuk in English translation. I have read "My Name Is Red," and here in America it was featured in a TV program on world literature. In that program, a young Turkish academic said she had read the book in both Turkish and English and found the latter easier to understand. This seems curious to me. Is Pamuk even more layered and open to interpretation in Turkish? Because he seems pretty open to interpretation to me in English!

When I read "My Name Is Red," I thought it was detailed and challenging. But in comparision with "The Black Book," it seems absolutely lean and action-driven. 

I get the feeling, AlphaF, that you are not a complete fan of Pamuk. Tell me why. Do you feel he takes a political stance in his books? He seems more of a humanist than anything else to me.

 

Assuming you are sincere in your questions, you obviously lack the bacground to fully understand what Pamuk books are trying to put accross. You may be missing an essential element, that made him worth the NOBEL PRİZE in the eyes of some influential readers.

I would hate to burden you with my own predjudices hence will avoid lengthy explanations of my views on Mr. Pamuk or his work, I shall however give you a hint.

RED is not a common name in Turkish (in fact, I have never met a Turk named RED in my whole life); why then is the book not called "My Name is Blue" , Black, Purple, or Green ?

6.       trip
297 posts
 12 Dec 2012 Wed 10:25 am

AlphaF, why do you get so exercised every time we discuss anything? I am not trying to impose my opinions on anyone. I just wanted to discuss Pamuk and his books. You are right, I do not understand something here. So, teach me. I want to learn. Tell me your point of view.

It has been a while since I read "My Name Is Red," but as I remember it, Red is not a person´s name. It is a color´s name. The color is talking, yes? In criticism in the West at least, Pamuk is praised for giving "inanimate objects" voices and letting them tell their own stories. Red is the color of anger, of passion, of ego. It is the color that overtakes the character who is doing the killing, yes? And the question of ego, of identity, is at the core of the book.

Pamuk talks about east and west and how these clash or combine, correct? In "My Name Is Red" he talks about two different approaches to art and identity: the eastern, Islamic approach and the western, Renaissance approach. He talks about the identity of the artist -- should it be suppressed or celebrated? In "Kara Kitap" he also talks about identity, and perhaps even more directly about how Turkish society views itself (or viewed itself in the era in which the book is set).

I know these can be sensitive subjects in Turkey. Should Pamuk not have been given the Nobel? In my humble opinion (and I do mean humble), he won not only because he took on these east-west issues but also because his books go beyond this to speak to the human condition. His books speak to Turks and non-Turks alike. They are, in the end, about people.

I am indeed sincere in my questions. I am not being sarcastic or facetious. I am interested in your opinions, and I certainly don´t mean to cause trouble. 

Umut_Umut liked this message
7.       AlphaF
5677 posts
 12 Dec 2012 Wed 10:46 am

MY NAME IS RED, reads like a bussiness card...it sounds like an introduction.

Who is being introduced, to whom ?

 

I am indeed sincere in my questions. I am not being sarcastic or facetious. I am interested in your opinions, and I certainly don´t mean to cause trouble. 

You may be sincere but you sound soo lazy. Anybody can obviously read Mr Pamuk´s books, and each will understand something. Those who think there may be other layers, not obvous to ordinary readers, must work harder...no benefit to learn something you are not ready for.

YOU WONT GET STRAIGHT ANSWERS FROM ME, NOT ON THIS SUBJECT. IF YOU ARE WILLING TO FOLLOW THE LEADS, YOU  MAY ENJOY POSSIBILITIES.



Edited (12/12/2012) by AlphaF
Edited (12/12/2012) by AlphaF

8.       trip
297 posts
 12 Dec 2012 Wed 11:13 am

If I pursue only what I am ready for, I will never learn. If I don´t ask questions, I will not broaden my knowledge. If I were lazy, I would go watch TV and not try to discuss Orhan Pamuk. (Let me see, is "Downton Abbey" on tonight? Let me stick with what I know.)

End of discussion, AlphaF.

If there is someone else here who would like to discuss Mr. Pamuk and his works, please, come join me. 

9.       AlphaF
5677 posts
 12 Dec 2012 Wed 11:32 am

If I pursue only what I am ready for, I will never learn.

If you think you can learn what you are not ready to learn, you may waste your life in a fruitless pursuit.  Good luck my friend !

10.       alameda
3499 posts
 12 Dec 2012 Wed 02:25 pm

I´ve read and enjoyed hiIs works. Thus far I´ve read:

Snow

My Name is Red

the New Life

White Castle

Black Book

Istanbul

I´ve found them good reads, if they are great literature, or not, is not for me to say. I like the stream of thought, use of images and semi surrealistic style. One theme I´ve found in all his books is the subject of change, throwing away the old and bringing in the new. We see that all over the world, it´s not unique to Turkey, and I do find it disturbing myself. So many old and beautiful treasures are destroyed so some new thing can take it´s place. I think preservation is more work, as a great deal of tedious sifting through is required. 

You will find he is not a popular author in Turkey. Why, what and all, I don´t get into. I´ve read his works translated by different people and still found them interesting. What they are like in the original Turkish, I can´t say. 

Most Turks I´ve met steer me to Yaşar Kemal, who I´ve also read and greatly enjoyed. It´s unfortunate, most his works are not translated into English. 

 

Quoting trip

If there is someone else here who would like to discuss Mr. Pamuk and his works, please, come join me. 

 

 



Edited (12/12/2012) by alameda [punctuation]

trip liked this message
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