Friday, December 22, 2006

a little more Orhan Pamuk

"We are in the company
of the words of those who came
before us, of other people’s
stories, other people’s books—the thing
we call tradition.
I believe literature to be
the most valuable tool that humanity
has found in its quest to understand itself."
I used to think that poetry (and novels no less) must surely be the savior of the world. I thought this naturally, because of how compellingly it has taken up my life. I have always made a point of believing that anything less than the savior of this world could never take up my life. My life is a very valuable thing. It's the only one I have like it.
But, Orhan, I'm just not convinced of that way in literature anymore. I am glad, nonetheless, always grateful, that it takes up our lives. It pleases me to no end knowing that you too will sit, and for hours. Though I'm not sure I could ever sit with you because of your enormously depressing disposition, it still brings me pleasure to think of it. We will have to settle for sharing literature between us in the absence of views or presence.
I will read your book and imagine you scribbling on real paper in sparse hard wood rooms off toward the East, vaguely angry at everyone, in Istanbul, and not so far from me.


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