Friday, June 11, 2010

The Museum of Innocence

Currently I am reading Orhan Pamuk's latest novel The Museum of Innocence. The following exert is a brilliant example of the poignancy of Pamuk's turn of phrase- even in translation.

"At times like this what matters is not our words but our demeanor, not the magnitude or elegance of our grief but the degree to which we can express fellowship with those around us. I sometimes think that our love of cigarettes owes nothing to the nicotine, and everything to their ability to fill the meaningless void and offer an easy way of feeling as if we are doing something purposeful. My father, my brother, and I each took a cigarettes from the packets of Maltepes offered to us by the elder son of the deceased, and once they were all lit with the same burning match that the teenager artfully offered us, there followed a strange moment when all three of us crossed out legs and set about puffing in unison, as if enacting a ritual of transcendental importance."

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