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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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Snow

Here, perhaps, we have arrived at the heart of our story.  How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another’s heart?  How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves in the shoes of the rest, how much would they really understand the wrenched millions suffering around them?  So it is when Orhan the novelist peers into the dark corners of his poet friend’s difficult and painful life: How much can he really see?

from Orhan Pamuk “Snow” (Translated by Maureen Freely)

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands in December, 2010.