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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Scotland on Sunday - The Review - Colourful memoirs are Turkish delight

"Colourful memoirs are Turkish delight



Orhan Pamuk
Faber & Faber, £16.99

‘MY IMAGINATION requires that I stay in the same city, on the same street, in the same house, gazing at the same view. Istanbul’s fate is my fate... it has made me who I am," writes Orhan Pamuk a few pages into his bracing memoir. Two hundred and eighty pages later he confesses his sense of detachment: "the idea rises up inside me that I’m worthless and belong nowhere". The tension induced by this self-revulsion, at odds with his need for creative stasis, is born out of guilt. In this richly laden survey of his life he describes his earliest guilty pleasure - an erotic experience at the precocious age of four. It is a portrait of the artist’s privileged childhood - born to rich parents, a younger son in competition with his brother for the affection of their mother. Passively loved by the rich, he had a playboy father to whom he dedicates this book. There are chapters recalling the painters and foreign writers (Flaubert, Gide, Nerval) who gave the city a travellers’ cachet, and the local writers who gave it resonance. "

More:Scotland on Sunday - The Review - Colourful memoirs are Turkish delight