Monday 18 January 2021

Pamuk, Orhan "The Naïve and the Sentimental Novelist"


Pamuk, Orhan "The Naïve and the Sentimental Novelist" (Turkish: Saf ve Düşünceli Romancı) - 2011

One of my favourite authors talks about one of my favourite subjects: books. What could go wrong?

Nothing. Orhan Pamuk talks about his view of writing, his approach to literature in just the same enchanting way as he describes the characters in his novels. He goes through various forms of writing for all of which he gives good examples from well-known literature (see list below). He uses a lot of Russian literature, especially comes back to "Anna Karenina" a lot.

This is an introduction to literature, how to understand it and what to make of it. It would probably be a great book for students of any language but certainly those who study literature. I have yet to find a book by this fabulous author where I don't learn at least a little. Here, I have learned a lot.

If he hadn't received it already, I would have suggested him for the Nobel Prize many times, but certainly after this book.

From the back cover:

"From the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, an inspired, thoughtful, and deeply personal book about reading and writing novels. 

In this fascinating set of essays, based on the talks he delivered at Harvard University as part of the distinguished Norton Lecture series, Pamuk presents a comprehensive and provocative theory of the novel and the experience of reading. Drawing on Friedrich Schiller’s famous distinction between 'naïve' writers - those who write spontaneously - and 'sentimental' writers - those who are reflective and aware - Pamuk reveals two unique ways of processing and composing the written word. He takes us through his own literary journey and the beloved novels of his youth to describe the singular experience of reading. Unique, nuanced, and passionate, this book will be beloved by readers and writers alike."

Orhan Pamuk "who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures" received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006.

Orhan Pamuk received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (Friedenspreis) in 2005.

You can read more about the books I read by one of my favourite authors here.

I contribute to this page: Read the Nobels and you can find all my blogs about Nobel Prize winning authors and their books here. Read my other reviews of the Nobel Prize winners for Literature.

List of books and/or authors mentioned:
Abū Nuwās (al-Ḥasan ibn Hānī al-Ḥakamī) (~756-814)
Albrecht, Michael von (1933-)
Alighieri, Dante (1265-1321)
Allston, Washington (1779-1843)
Aristoteles "Physics" (Φυσικὴ ἀκρόασις/Phusike akroasis) ~4th century
Auden, W.H. "The Shield of Achilles" - 1952
Austen, Jane (1775-1817)
Bakhtin, Michail (1895-1975)
Balzac, Honorée de "Father Goriot" (Le Père Goriot) - 1835
- "The Human Comedy" (La Comédie humaine) - 1829–48
Barnes, Julian "A History of the World in 10½ Chapters" - 1989
Beaudelaire, Charles (1821-67)
Beauvoir, Simone de (1908-86)
Benjamin, Walter (1892-1940)
Bhabha, Homi K. (1949-)
Borges, Jorge Luis (1899-1986)
Bourdieu, Pierre (1930-2002)
Broch, Hermann (1886-1951)
Brod, Max (1884-1968)
Bulgakov, Michail "The Master and Margarita" (Мастер и Маргарита/Master I Margarita) - 1866-67
Butor, Michel (1926-2016)
Cabrera Infante, Guillermo "Three Sad Tigers" (Tres tristes tigres) - 1967
Calvino, Italo "Invisible Cities" (Le città invisibili) - 1972
- "If on a Winter's Night a Traveller" (Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore) - 1979
Çelebi, Evliya (1611-83)
Cervantes, Miguel de "Don Quixote, vols. 1 and 2" (El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha) - 1605-1615
Christie, Agatha "Murder on the Orient Express" - 1934
Coetze, J.M. (1940-)
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor "Biographia Literaria or Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions" - 1817
- "The Rhyme of the Anicent Mariner" - 1798
Conrad, Joseph (1857-1924)
Cortázar, Julio "Hopscoth" (Rayuela) - 1963
Defoe, Daniel "Robinson Crusoe" - 1719
Desai, Kiran (1971-)
Dick, Philip K. (1928-82)
Dickens, Charles "David Copperfield" - 1850
- "Oliver Twist" - 1838
Diderot, Denis (1713-84)
Dikbaş, Nazim (1973-)
Dostoevsky, Fyodor "The Brothers Karamazov" (Братья Карамазовы/Brat'ya Karamazovy) - 1879-80
- "Demons" aka "The Possessed" (Бесы/Bésy) - 1871´-72
Eco, Umberto (1932-2016)
Ekrem, Recaizade Mahmut "Araba Sevdazi" - 1896
Eliot, George (1819-80)
Eliot, T.S. "Hamlet and his Problems" - 1919
Faulkner, William "As I lay dying" - 1930
- "The Sound and the Fury" - 1929
- "The Wild Palms/The Old Man or If I Forget Thee Jerusalem" - 1939
Fielding, Henry "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling" - 1749
Firdausi, Abu l-Qasem-e (940-1020)
Flaubert, Gustave "Madame Bovary" (Madame Bovary) - 1857
- "Sentimental Education" (L’Éducation sentimentale) - 1869
Forster, E.M. "Aspects of the Novel" - 1927
Foucault, Michel "What Is an Author?" (Qu’est-ce qu’un auteur?) - 1969
Frank, Joseph "Dostoevsky: The Miraculous Years" - 1995
García Márquez, Gabriel (1927-2014)
Gautier, Théophile (1811-72)
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (1749-1832)
Greenblatt, Stephen (1943-)
Habermas, Jürgen (1929-)
Hakmen, Roza (1956-)
Handke, Peter (1942-)
Hedayat, Sadegh "The Blind Owl" (بوف کور/Boof-e koor) - 1936
Heidegger, Martin (1889-1976)
Highsmith, Patricia (1921-95)
Homer "Iliad" (Ἰλιάς, Iliás)
- "Odyssey" (Ομήρου Οδύσσεια, Odýsseia) - 800-600 BC
Horace "The Art of Poetry" (Ars Poetica) ~19 BC
Huyssen, Andreas (1942-)
Iser, Wolfgang (1926-2007)
James, Henry "The Golden Bowl" - 1904
Joyce, James "Finnegans Wake" - 1939
- "Ulysses" - 1922
Kafka, Franz "The Metamorphosis" (Die Verwandlung) - 1912
Kundera, Milan "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" (Nesnesitelná lehkost bytí) - 1984
Le Carré (1931-2020)
Lem, Stanisław (1921-2006)
Leskov, Nikolai "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" (Леди Макбет Мценского уезда Ledi Makbet Mtsenskovo uyezda) - 1865
Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim "Laocoon: or, The limits of Poetry and Painting" (Lakoon oder Über die Grenzen der Malerei und Poesie) - 1766
Lukács, György "The Theory of the Novel" (Theorie des Romans) -1974
Mann, Thomas "Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family" (Buddenbrooks) - 1901
- "The Magic Mountain" (Der Zauberberg) - 1924
Manzoni, Alessandro "The Betrothed" (I Promessi Sposi) - 1827
Melville, Herman "Bartleby, the Scrivener" - 1853
- "Moby Dick or The Whale" - 1851
Molière "The Miser" (L'avare) - 1668
Montaigne, Michel de (1533-1592)
Murasaki, Lady Shikibu "The Tale of Genji" (源氏物語/Genji Monogatari) - early 11th century
Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich "Lolita" - 1955
- "Pale Fire" - 1962
Naipaul, V.S. "Finding the Centre" - 1984
"In a Free State" - 1971
Nerval, Gérard de "Sylvie" (Sylvie) - 1853
Nietzsche, Friedrich (1844-1900)
Ortega y Gasset, José - 1883-1955
Pamuk, Orhan "The Black Book" (Kara Kitap) - 1990
- "Cevdet Bey and His Sons" (Cevdet Bey ve Oğulları) - 1982
- "Istanbul - Memories of a City" (İstanbul: Hatıralar ve Şehir) - 2003
- "The Museum of Innocence" (Masumiyet Müzesi) - 2008
- "My Name is Red" (Benim Adim Kirmizi) - 1998
- "The Silent House" (Sessiz Ev) - 1983
- "Snow" (Kar) - 2002
- "The White Castle" (Beyaz Kale) - 1985
Perec, Georges "Life; A User's Manual" (La vie mode d'emploi) - 1978
Poe, Edgar Allen "The Philosophy of Composition" - 1846
 - "The Raven" - 1845
Proust, Marcel "In Search of Lost Time" (À la recherche du temps perdu) - 1913-27
- "Swann's Way" (Du côté de chez Swann) - 1913
Rabelais, François (~1483-94-1553)
Robbe-Grillet, Alain (1922-2008)
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques "Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau" (Les Confessions) - 1782
- "Julie; or, The New Heloise" (Julie ou la Nouvelle Héloïse) - 1761
Rumi "Masnavi" (Masnavi-ye-Ma'navi/مثنوی معنوی‎) ~1273
Sartre, Jean-Paul "The Words" (Les Mots) - 1964
Schiller, Friedrich "Über naive und sentimentalische Dichtung" (On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry) - 1795
Shakespeare, William "Macbeth" - 1606
Shklovsky, Viktor (1893-1984)
Şoray, Türkan (1945-)
Stendhal "The Charterhouse of Parma" (La Chartreuse de Parme) - 1839
- "The Red and the Black" (Le Rouge et le Noir - 1830
Sterne, Laurence "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman" - 1759-67
- "Sentimental Journey through France and Italy" - 1768
Strindberg, August "The Son of a Servant" (Tjänstekvinnans son) - 1886
Sue, Eugène (1804-57)
Tanizaki, Jun'ichirō "Naomi" (痴人の愛/Chijin no Ai) - 1925
Tanpınar, Ahmet Hamdi "The Time Regulation Institute" (Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü) - 1961
Thomas, Bernard "Old Masters" (Alte Meister) - 1895
Tolstoy, Leo "Anna Karenina" (Анна Каренина/Anna Karenina) - 1877
- "War and Peace" (Война и мир/Woina I Mir) - 1868/69
Vargas Llosa, Mario "Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter" (La tía Julia y el escribidor) - 1977
Woolf, Virginia "Mrs. Dalloway" - 1925
- "The Waves" - 1931
Wordsworth, William (1770-1850)
Yourcenar, Marguerite "The Abyss" (L'Œuvre au noir) - 1968
- "Memoirs of Hadrian" (Mémoires d'Hadrien) - 1951
- "That Mighty Sculptor, Time" (essay "Ton et langage dans le roman historique" from "Le Temps, ce grand sculpteur") - 1983
Zola, Émile "Nana" (Nana) - 1880


  1. I must get this book! Many of my favorite authors here and some I mean to get to this year, such as Borges. In fact I will read Ficciones this month.

    1. Yes, he mentioned a lot of great books and authors, some of them only shortly but he does a lot of comparisons about our concept of seeing books through Anna Karenina.

      Enjoy Borges. I always wanted to read him, as well, so I'm really looking forward to your review.

      Thanks for your visit. I'm always happy to see your face.