Other Colors: a review

Other ColorsOther Colors by Orhan Pamuk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Why should I concern about banned books?

I was very surprised by the question because it came from a writer (wanna be?) whom I met at a gathering a year ago. When I asked if it happened to him, he could not say anything.

I recalled the occurrence when I read these sentences: “many writers we respect and value have chosen to take up forbidden topics purely because the very fact of prohibition was an injury to their pride” and “when another writer in another house is not free, no writer is free” (page 182). I think the sentence was kind of Pamuk’s reaction after he was trialed for “publicly denigrated Turkish identity”, and how he sees about freedom of expression. “I believe freedom of expression to be so important – because it allows us to discover the hidden truths of the societies in which we live”, he wrote in this book.

Banned books and freedom of expression were only two of many things I can learn from this books. Some other are including writing novels: “To write a novel is to be open to desires, winds, and inspirations, and also to dark recesses of our minds and their moments of mist and stillness,” (page 7) and “A writer’s progress will depend on to a large degree on having read good books. But to read well is not to pass one’s eyes and one’s mind slowly and carefully over a text: it is to immerse oneself utterly in its soul. This is why we fall in love with only a few books in a lifetime.” (lits)

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