Nabokov’s novel, Lol ita, creat ed a storm ...
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Pamuk’s Latest, a Leisurely Meditation on Love, Time, Memory, Loss and Obsession
By Editor on Nov 7, 2009 in Armenia
By Daphne Abeel
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
Don’t be in a hurry to finish Orhan Pamuk’s new novel. It moves slowly and it is meant to be read slowly. After all, according to the author, it took him 10 years to write.
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Obsessive love between older men and young women and collecting are subjects that have attracted other accomplished novelists. Vladimir Nabokov’s novel, Lolita, created a storm when it was first published in 1955. It, too, was the story of an older man, obsessed with a young girl, but in Nabokov’s tale, the age difference was greater, which made it shocking. And Nabokov’s couple went on the lam, whereas Pamuk’s characters conduct their relationship in the very midst of the society of which they are a part. Some readers may also recall the work of the English novelist, John Fowles, The Collector (1963), which tells the story of a lonely butterfly collector who imprisons a young woman with whom he has fallen in love. Are Fusun’s butterfly earrings perhaps an echo of this earlier fiction? And of course, Nabokov was an enthusiastic lepidopterist.
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It would not be a surprise if his next work were conceived from the point of view of exile, which would be a novelty for the Nobel Prize winner, who so far has written so astutely and poignantly from and about his native Turkey.
*“The Objects of the Exercise,” by Negar Azimi, New York Times Sunday Magazine, November 1.
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