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“Snow” by Orhan Pamuk

I’ve finished reading “Snow”. This is the first time for me to read Pamuk. I was completely enchanted by his beautifully crafted prose. I started reading this novel about a year ago and has made it a habit of reading a chapter a day. His writing was so gracefully written that it was a sheer joy for me to turn every single page. This work is filled with aphorisms that made me contemplate the religion, poem, revolution, pride, love, and above all the West and East.


Orhan Pamuk

The story unfolds in Kars in Turkey and Frankfurt in Germany. The protagonist is a poet who has lived in Frankfurt as a political exile and visits a town called Kars to make investigations on girls who commit suicide. The story also revolves around a series of poems on snow that he composes.


What I really liked about this story is a variety of images of snow ubiquitous throughout which alternatingly represent serenity, gentleness, beauty, and melancholy in a kaleidoscopic way. I became a huge fan of Pamuk. Hats off to the translator Maureen Freely for such a marvelous translation. Already thinking about reading another book of his. Any recommendations?


“Solitude is essentially a matter of pride; you bury yourself in your own scent. The issue is the same for all real poets. If you’ve been happy too long, you become banal. By the same token, if you’ve been unhappy for a long time, you lose your poetic power.... Happiness and poetry can only coexist for the briefest time. Afterward either happiness coarsens the poet or the poem is so true it destroys his happiness.”

“I’m going to live out my own history and be no one but myself. I for one believe it’s possible to be happy without becoming a mock European, without becoming their slave. There’s a word Europhiles very commonly use when they denigrate our people: To be a true Westerner, a person must first become an individual, and then they go on to say that in Turkey, there are no individuals!”

“Jealousy and remorse were defeating his every effort to think logically. He could barely manage to identify what was causing him such pain; what he couldn’t fathom was why this pain was so destructive, so violent.”
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