Friday, May 05, 2017

"The Naive and the Sentimental Novlist" by Orhan Pamuk - Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature

There is a good reason that Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is a brilliant writer and is also a keen observer of the work of other writers.

In this non-fiction work, "The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist - Understanding What Happens When We Write and Read Novels," Pamuk uses as a springboard Friedrich Schiller's famous distinction between "naive poets and sentimental poets." A naive writer is one who produces work spontaneously, serenely, and unselfconsciously. A sentimental writer is reflective, emotional, questioning, and alive to his own artifice of the written word. In less than 200 pages, Pamuk takes the reader through an analysis of the writings of such literary luminaries as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Flaubert, Stendhal, and Proust.  He proposes that the best writers are always trying to achieve a proper balance between the extreme poles of naive and sentimental.

As a lover of classic literary novels, I found Pamuk's insights to be thrilling and eye-opening. His exposition has helped me to better appreciate the craft of writers I have long enjoyed, as well as helping me to come to value more recent authors who have found a way to achieve the proper balance between naive and sentimental.



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