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The Master and Margarita

First of all let us reveal the secret which the master did not wish to reveal to Ivanushka. His beloved’s name was Margarita1 Nikolaevna. Everything the master told the poor poet about her was the exact truth. He described his beloved correctly. She was beautiful and intelligent. To that one more thing must be added: it can be said with certainty that many women would have given anything to exchange their lives for the life of Margarita Nikolaevna. The childless thirty-year-old Margarita was the wife of a very prominent specialist, who, moreover, had made a very important discovery of state significance. Her husband was young, handsome, kind, honest, and adored his wife. The two of them, Margarita and her husband, occupied the entire top floor of a magnificent house in a garden on one of the lanes near the Arbat. A charming place! Anyone can be convinced of it who wishes to visit this garden. Let them inquire of me, and I will give them the address, show them the way – the house stands untouched to this day.

Mikhail Bulgakov “The Master and Margarita (Translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky)”

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Sputnik Sweetheart

 

Sumire couldn’t work out what she meant. Knife and fork poised in mid-air, she gave it some thought. “Sputnik? You mean the first satellite the Soviets sent up, in the fifties? Jack Kerouac was an American novelist. I guess they do overlap in terms of generation…”

from Haruki Murakami “Sputnik Sweetheart (Translated by Philip Gabriel)”

 

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The Decay of The Angel

Where the cypress grove gave away to a grove of cryptomeria, there stood a lone nemu tree. The soft clusters of leaves in among the hard needles of the cryptomerias were like wraiths, like afternoon slumber. They made him think of Thailand. A white butterfly from the nemu led him on his way.

from Yukio Mishima “The Decay of The Angel” (Translated by Edward G. Seidensticker)

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The Decay of The Angel

I have known secret pride and pleasure in seeing the concept on the horizon gradually take shape. I have put my hand in from outside the world and created something, and I have not tasted the sensation of being brought into the world. I have not felt myself brought in like laundry brought in before a shower. No rain has fallen to give me drowning, my clarity has been confident of proper sensual rescue. For the ship has always passed. It has never stopped. The sea winds have turned everything to spotted marble, the sun has turned the heart into crystal.

from Yukio Mishima “The Decay of The Angel” (Translated by Edward G. Seidensticker)

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My Name Is Red

Oh, why was I there at the window just when Black rode my on his white steed? Why did I open the shutters intuitively at that exact moment and stare at him so long from behind the snowy branches of the pomegranate tree? I can’t tell you for sure.
from Orhan Pamuk “My Name Is Red”(Translated by Erdağ M. Göknar)

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My Name Is Red

Hush and listen to how I developed such a magnificent red tone. A master miniaturist, an expert in paints, furiously pounded the best variety of dried red beetle from the hottest climes of Hindustan into a fine powder using his mortar and pestle. He prepared five drachmas of the red powder, one drachma of soapwort and a half drachma of lotor. He boiled the soapwort in pot containing three okkas of water. Next, he mix throughly the lotor into the water. He let it boil for as long as it took to drink an excellent cup of coffee. As he enjoyed his coffee, I grew as impatient as a child about to be born.
from Orhan Pamuk “My Name Is Red”(Translated by Erdağ M. Göknar)

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My Name Is Red

A great painter does not content himself by affecting us with his masterpieces; ultimately, he succeeds in changing the landscape of our minds. Once a miniaturist’s artistry enters our souls this way, it becomes the criterion for the beauty of our world. At the end of my life, as the Master of Isfahan burned his own art, he not only witnessed the fact that his work, instead of disappearing, actually proliferated and increased; he understood that everybody now saw the world the way he had seen it. Those things which did not resemble the paintings he made in his youth were now considered ugly.
from Orhan Pamuk “My Name Is Red”(Translated by Erdağ M. Göknar)

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