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What was venerated as style was nothing more than an imperfection or flaw that revealed the guilty hand.

Orhan Pamuk


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🦋 Galip / Jelal

I decided to make a second try at reading Pamuk's The Black Book. I'm reading Güneli Gün's translation this time. (Thanks for the recommendation go to Badger of the lamented Orbis Quintus and also to Michael McGaha.)

It's been a long enough time that I have forgotten the text and the story in all but the very broadest strokes, from time to time I am recognizing a passage. I ought to review my notes from last time. I remember finding it difficult to wade through, and am not having that experience now, which can probably be taken (broadly) as evidence in support of Gün's translation being a better one...

I've started trying to read the chapters which are written by Jelal* as if I were in Galip's head, in the course of the story -- I think that is the intent, when for example the narrator says,

Working in the taxi's top light, Galip marked Jelal's column all over with numbers, signs, and letters, but he still didn't get anywhere.
The idea is that the reader should carry this image and others like it into reading the next chapter, which will be a column of Jelal's (viz. "The Kiss"). Is this asking much of the reader? I don't think I noticed this pattern last time I read the book.

Don't quite understand Galip's thinking that Jelal's columns (which he knows are reprints of old columns) would contain a clue abut Rüya's present whereabouts. (If I'm understanding right that that's why he's poring over the column and marking it up.)

In the middle of reading the previous Jelal column ("The Eye", which I think is one of the columns Galip had borrowed out of his cousin's collection of clips), I had the thought that the older relative (forget now which) who in a previous chapter criticized Jelal's columns as too long had a real point, that that could have been edited pretty brutally without losing much of value.


* Prefer this spelling, which Gün is using, to Celâl; Freely's rendering while accurate made me double-take "selal/jelal" every time I ran across it.

posted morning of Sunday, January 28th
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One note regarding the two translations -- comparing the two translator's renderings of Rüya's ex-husband's rant in chapter 11 (which I transcribed Freely's version of back when), Gün's is not nearly as arresting, not nearly as vivid.

Afa thinking Jelal's columns could use some editing -- the inclusion of a note to the typist in chapter 14 makes it seem like the columns are published totally unedited? Weird...

posted afternoon of January 28th by The Modesto Kid

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