Orhan Pamuk - My Name Is Red

“I don't want to be a tree; I want to be its meaning.” 

“Books, which we mistake for consolation, only add depth to our sorrow.”

“Painting is the silence of thought and the music of sight.”

“Tell me then, does love make one a fool or do only fools fall in love?”

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”

“For if a lover's face survives emblazoned on your heart, the world is still your home.”

 “Try to discover who I am from my choice of words and colors, as attentive people like yourselves might examine footprints to catch a thief.”

 “When you love a city and have explored it frequently on foot, your body, not to mention your soul, gets to know the streets so well after a number of years that in a fit of melancholy, perhaps stirred by a light snow falling ever so sorrowfully, you'll discover your legs carrying you of their own accord toward one of your favourite promontories”

 “A letter doesn't communicate by words alone. A letter, just like a book, can be read by smelling it, touching it and fondling it. Thereby, intelligent folk will say, 'Go on then, read what the letter tells you!' whereas the dull-witted will say, 'Go on then, read what he's written!”

“I hear the question upon your lips: What is it to be a colour? Colour is the touch of the eye, music to the deaf, a word out of the darkness. Because I’ve listened to souls whispering – like the susurrus of the wind – from book to book and object to object for tens or thousands of years, allow me to say that my touch resembles the touch of angels. Part of me, the serious half, calls out to your vision while the mirthful half sours through the air with your glances. I’m so fortunate to be red! I’m fiery. I’m strong. I know men take notice of me and that I cannot be resisted. I do not conceal myself: For me, delicacy manifests itself neither in weakness nor in subtlety, but through determination and will. So, I draw attention to myself. I’m not afraid of other colours, shadows, crowds or even of loneliness. How wonderful it is to cover a surface that awaits me with my own victorious being! Wherever I’m spread, I see eyes shine, passions increase, eyebrows rise and heartbeats quicken. Behold how wonderful it is to live! Behold how wonderful to see. I am everywhere. Life begins with and returns to me. Have faith in what I tell you.”

“I am nothing but a corpse now, a body at the bottom of a well.”

“The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.”

“Let me first state forthright that contrary to what we've often read in books and heard from preachers, when you are a woman, you don't feel like the Devil.”

“The drinking of coffee is an absolute sin! Our Glorious Prophet did not partake of coffee because he knew it dulled the intellect, caused ulcers, hernia and sterility; he understood that coffee was nothing but the Devil's ruse.”

“...The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion; if you want to live in the paradise where happy mares and stallion live, open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.”

“Where there is a true art and genuine virtuosity the artist can paint an incomparable masterpiece without leaving even a trace of his identity.”

“...it seemed to me that the entire world was like a palace with countless rooms whose doors opened into one another. We were able to pass from one room to the next only by exercising out memories and imaginations, but most of us, in our laziness, rarely exercised these capacities, and forever remained in the same room”

“In actuality, we don't look for smiles in pictures of bliss, but rather, for the happiness in life itself. Painters know this, but this is preciously what they cannot depict. That's why they substitute the joy of seeing for the joy of life.”

“A miniaturist creates his art by heeding his conscience and by obeying the principles in which he believes, fearing nothing. He pays no attention to what his enemies, the zealots and those who envy him have to say.”

“I am so fortunate to be red! I'm fiery. I'm strong. I know men take notice of me and that I cannot be resisted.”

“If you think you are better than Stork, then by all means, get hold of me.”

“As in many other cities, money no longer had any value in Istanbul. At the time I returned from the East, bakeries that once sold large one-hundred drachma loaves of bread for one silver coin now baked loaves half the size for the same price, and they no longer tasted the way they did during my childhood.”

“I'm a dog, and because you humans are much less rational beasts than I,you're telling yourselves, 'Dogs don't talk.' Nethertheless, you seem to believe a story in which corpses speak and characters use words they couldn't possibly know. Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”

“A great European master miniaturist and another great master artist are walking through a Frank meadow discussing virtuosity and art. As they stroll, a forest comes into view before them. The more expert of the tow says to the other: 'painting in the new style demands such talen that if you depicted one of the trees in the forest, a man who looked upon that painting could come here, and if he so desired, correctly select that tree from among the others.
I thank Allah that I, the humble tree before you, have not been drawn with such intent. And not because I fear that if I'd been thus depicted all the dogs in Istanbul would assume I was a real tree and piss on me: I don't want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning.”


Vangogen • ვანგოგენი

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