The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist

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Harvard University Press, Nov 1, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 200 pages
27 Reviews

What happens within us when we read a novel? And how does a novel create its unique effects, so distinct from those of a painting, a film, or a poem? In this inspired, thoughtful, deeply personal book, Orhan Pamuk takes us into the worlds of the writer and the reader, revealing their intimate connections.

Pamuk draws on Friedrich Schiller‚e(tm)s famous distinction between ‚eoenaive‚e poets‚e"who write spontaneously, serenely, unselfconsciously‚e"and ‚eoesentimental‚e poets: those who are reflective, emotional, questioning, and alive to the artifice of the written word. Harking back to the beloved novels of his youth and ranging through the work of such writers as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Stendhal, Flaubert, Proust, Mann, and Naipaul, he explores the oscillation between the naive and the reflective, and the search for an equilibrium, that lie at the center of the novelist‚e(tm)s craft. He ponders the novel‚e(tm)s visual and sensual power‚e"its ability to conjure landscapes so vivid they can make the here-and-now fade away. In the course of this exploration, he considers the elements of character, plot, time, and setting that compose the ‚eoesweet illusion‚e of the fictional world.

Anyone who has known the pleasure of becoming immersed in a novel will enjoy, and learn from, this perceptive book by one of the modern masters of the art.


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A wonderful book for a writer or a lover of literature. - Goodreads
The next chapter is on character, plot, and time. - Goodreads
And the writer writes with the same aim in mind. - Goodreads
Pamuk asks the writer. - Goodreads

Review: The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist

User Review  - Bernie Gourley - Goodreads

The NaÔve and the Sentimental Novelist is Orhan Pamuk's theory of the novel, and is based on a series of lectures given by the Turkish Nobel Laureate in 2009. It's a brief work, consisting of less ... Read full review

Review: The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist

User Review  - Zachary Karabashliev - Goodreads

A must for everyone who is tempted by the lonely business of writing:) Read full review


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About the author (2010)

Author Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul, Turkey on June 7, 1952. After graduating from Robert College in Istanbul, he studied architecture at the Istanbul Technical University. After three years, he decided to become a writer and graduated from the Institute of Journalism at the University of Istanbul in 1976. In 1982, he published his first novel Cevdet Bey and His Sons, which received both the Orhan Kemal and Milliyet literary prizes. His novel, My Name Is Red, won the French Prix Du Meilleur Livre Etranger, the 2002 Italian Grinzane Cavour, and the 2003 International IMPAC Dublin literary award. He has received numerous Turkish and international literary awards for his works including the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. He has spent almost his entire life in Istanbul. From 1985 to 1988, he was a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York City. During this time, he also had a fellowship at the University of Iowa.

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