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The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures)

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The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) Cover

ISBN13: 9780674050761
ISBN10: 0674050762
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What happens within us when we read a novel? And how does a novel create its unique effects, so distinct from those of a painting, a film, or a poem? In this inspired, thoughtful, deeply personal book, Orhan Pamuk takes us into the worlds of the writer and the reader, revealing their intimate connections.

Pamuk draws on Friedrich Schiller's famous distinction between naive poets — who write spontaneously, serenely, unselfconsciously — and sentimental poets: those who are reflective, emotional, questioning, and alive to the artifice of the written word. Harking back to the beloved novels of his youth and ranging through the work of such writers as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Stendhal, Flaubert, Proust, Mann, and Naipaul, he explores the oscillation between the naive and the reflective, and the search for an equilibrium, that lie at the center of the novelist's craft. He ponders the novel's visual and sensual power--its ability to conjure landscapes so vivid they can make the here-and-now fade away. In the course of this exploration, he considers the elements of character, plot, time, and setting that compose the sweet illusion of the fictional world.

Anyone who has known the pleasure of becoming immersed in a novel will enjoy, and learn from, this perceptive book by one of the modern masters of the art.

Review:

"Taking his title and inspiration from Schiller's 'On Naive and Sentimental Poetry,' Nobel Prize-winning Turkish novelist Pamuk (The Museum of Innocence) dissects what happens when we read a novel. Making a distinction between naive novelists, 'unaware' of the novel's artificiality, and 'sentimental' novelists (and readers) at the opposite end, who are 'reflective,' Pamuk is most interested in the 'secret center' of literary novels, which is the wisdom they impart. Pamuk brings to the table firsthand knowledge regarding the centrality of character in the novel and how the novelist actually becomes the hero in the very act of writing. Readers, in their own symbiotic act of imagination, also inhabit the hero's character. And through that sense of identification with the hero's decisions and choices, Pamuk says, we learn that we can influence events. Reading novels in his youth, he writes, 'I felt a breathtaking sense of freedom and self-confidence.' Based on Pamuk's Norton Lectures, the book has some inevitable repetition, but is a passionate amalgam of wonder and analysis. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

A Huffington Post Best Book of the Year, 2010

About the Author

Orhan Pamuk, the Turkish novelist, is author of Snow, My Name Is Red, Istanbul, The Museum of Innocence, and other works. He was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. More information on the author can be found at www.orhanpamuk.net.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

NYC, December 27, 2010 (view all comments by NYC)
I really realated to the previous reviewer's comments about this book. The first thing I read by Pamuk was his memoir, "Istanbul." I loved it. Then I read another nonfiction book by Pamuk, the same one referenced by the previous reviewer: "Other Colors: Essays and a Story." I loved it, and some parts I even read twice, the parts about Pamuk's favorite books and authors. I had the good fortune to see Pamuk a year ago at the Union Square Barnes & Noble. He has a cute accent, a cute personality, and and even cuter face and smile. I have not yet connected with Pamuk's fiction, but I know I will one day. On the morning of December 20, 2010, I said to myself, "I know it's a longshot, but's let's see if Pamuk has come out with any new nonfiction." And lo and behold, I discovered this book, "The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist." I bought it and started reading it, very, very slowly because I want to savor it. I will probably read it two times. If you truly love books and reading, seek out Pamuk's nonfiction -- you will find a brilliant, yet accessible, kindred spirit.
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Gabriel Boehmer, November 6, 2010 (view all comments by Gabriel Boehmer)
As if I had been in the audience for the lectures upon which this book was based, I actually applauded when I finished reading "The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist." In a conversational and intimate tone, Pamuk describes his experience as a reader of novels and a writer of novels. His new book illuminates and inspires. If you haven't yet read Pamuk's essays ("Other Colors," which for me made Pamuk a soulmate) or his novels, this book will tempt you. "The great literary novels," Pamuk writes in this volume (based on the 2009 Norton lectures at Harvard), "are indispensable to us because they create the hope and vivid illusion that the world has a center and a meaning, and because they give us joy by sustaining this impression as we turn their pages.... We want to reread such novels once we finish them -- not because we have located the center, but because we want to experience once again this feeling of optimism." LIke me, you'll want to reread "The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist," too. Note to Powell's: This book should be a featured title.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780674050761
Author:
Pamuk, Orhan
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Author:
PAMUK, ORHAN
Author:
S
Author:
, Nazim
Author:
Dikbaş, Nazim
Author:
ay
Author:
Dikba
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
General
Subject:
Pamuk, Orhan
Subject:
Fiction -- History and criticism.
Subject:
Books & Reading
Subject:
Semiotics & Theory
Subject:
General Language Arts & Disciplines
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
Charles Eliot Norton Lectures
Series Volume:
1970
Publication Date:
20101101
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) New Hardcover
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Product details 208 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674050761 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Taking his title and inspiration from Schiller's 'On Naive and Sentimental Poetry,' Nobel Prize-winning Turkish novelist Pamuk (The Museum of Innocence) dissects what happens when we read a novel. Making a distinction between naive novelists, 'unaware' of the novel's artificiality, and 'sentimental' novelists (and readers) at the opposite end, who are 'reflective,' Pamuk is most interested in the 'secret center' of literary novels, which is the wisdom they impart. Pamuk brings to the table firsthand knowledge regarding the centrality of character in the novel and how the novelist actually becomes the hero in the very act of writing. Readers, in their own symbiotic act of imagination, also inhabit the hero's character. And through that sense of identification with the hero's decisions and choices, Pamuk says, we learn that we can influence events. Reading novels in his youth, he writes, 'I felt a breathtaking sense of freedom and self-confidence.' Based on Pamuk's Norton Lectures, the book has some inevitable repetition, but is a passionate amalgam of wonder and analysis. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by , A Huffington Post Best Book of the Year, 2010
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