Top 75 Orhan Pamuk Quotes

Happiness is holding someone in your arms and knowing you hold the whole world.


Tell me then, does love make one a fool or do only fools fall in love?


Real museums are places where Time is transformed into Space.


After all, a woman who doesn’t love cats is never going to be make a man happy.


Any intelligent person knows that life is a beautiful thing and that the purpose of life is to be happy,” said my father as he watched the three beauties. “But it seems only idiots are ever happy. How can we explain this?


There’s a lot of pride involved in my refusal to believe in god.


The greatest happiness is when the eye discovers beauty where neither then mind conceived of nor the hand intended any.


The thing that binds us together is that we have both lowered our expectations of life


Clocks and calendars do not exist to remind us of the Time we’ve forgotten but to regulate our relations with others and indeed all of society, and this is how we use them.


I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.


Books, which we mistake for consolation, only add depth to our sorrow.


The real question is how much suffering we’ve caused our womenfolk by turning headscarves into symbols – and using women as pawns in a political game.


The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.


I realized that the longing for art, like the longing for love, is a malady that blinds us, and makes us forget the things we already know, obscuring reality.


Where there is a true art and genuine virtuosity the artist can paint an incomparable masterpiece without leaving even a trace of his identity.


We read novels because we want to see the world through other experiences, other beings, other eyes, other cultures.


…the waiting was torture, the worst Ka had ever known. It was this pain, this deadly wait, he now remembered, that had made him afraid to fall in love.


She looked out the window; in her eyes was the light that you see only in children arriving at a new place, or in young people still open to new influences, still curious about the world because they have not yet been scarred by life.


In a brutal country like ours, where human life is ‘cheap’, it’s stupid to destroy yourself for the sake of your beliefs. Beliefs? High ideas? Only people in rich countries can enjoy such luxuries.


The power of things inheres in the memories they gather up inside them, and also in the vicissitudes of our imagination, and our memory–of this there is no doubt.


Remembering the past always comes with an image or a view attached.


To be left with only the trace of a memory is to gaze at an armchair that’s still molded to the form of a love who has left never to return: It is to grieve, dear reader, it is to weep.


How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known?


Life is beautiful if you are on the road to somewhere


I need the pain of loneliness to make my imagination work.


The only antidote to the loneliness of the streets was the streets themselves.


Maybe you’ve understood by now that for men like myself, that is, melancholy men for whom love, agony, happiness and misery are just excuses for maintaining eternal loneliness, life offers neither great joy nor great sadness.


What is the meaning of it all, of this…of this world?’Mystery’, I heard in my thoughts, or perhaps, ‘mercy’, but I wasn’t certain of either.


With the death of my father, it wasn’t just the objects of everyday life that had changed; even the most ordinary street scenes had become irreplaceable mementos of a lost world whose every detail figured in the meaning of the whole.


Despite the loss they were suffering, they’d both relaxed – as people do when they realize they’ve run out of chances for happiness


Women kill themselves because they hope to gain something,” said Kadife. “Men kill themselves because they’ve lost hope of gaining anything.


Einstein…even failed physics once, but he’d never thought of giving up school to make a living.


What we essentially want is to draw something unknown to us in all its shadowiness, not something we know in all its illumination.


…every life is like a snowflake: individual existences might look identical from afar, but to understand one´s own eternally mysterious uniqueness one had only to plot the mysteries of one´s own snowflake.


We’re not stupid! We’re just poor! And we have a right to insist on this distinction


Contrary to what the West seems to think, it is not poverty that brings people like us so close to God. It’s the fact that no one is more curious than we are to learn why we are here on earth and what will happen to us in the next world.


Suddenly Ka realized he was in love with İpek. And realizing that this love would determine the rest of his life, he was filled with dread.


Believing that Sibel was saying these things to me to make me angry, I got angry. But this is not to say that the fury owed nothing to my partial awareness that she was right.


I do know this much though: If a man resorts to wiles, guile and petty deceptions, it means he’s nowhere near being in love.


…he quit drinking coffee, and naturally, his brain stopped working.


Sometimes I would see them not as mementos of the blissful hours but as the tangible precious debris of the storm raging in my soul.


After all, isn’t the purpose of the novel, or of a museum, for that matter, to relate our memories with such sincerity as to transform individual happiness into a happiness all can share?


Let me first state forthright that contrary to what we’ve often read in books and heard from preachers, when you are a woman, you don’t feel like the Devil.


The essential reason for my loneliness is that I don’t even know where I belong.


To read a novel is to wonder constantly, even at moments when we lose ourselves most deeply in the book: How much of this is fantasy, and how much is real?


It’s not the content, but the form of thought that counts.


A novelist is essentially a person who covers distance through his patience, slowly, like an ant. A novelist impresses us not by his demonic and romantic vision, but by his patience.


Contrary to what is commonly believed, all murderers are men of extreme faith rather than unbelievers.


Age had not made him less handsome, as is so often the case; it had simply made him less visible.


These were innocent people, so innocent that they thought poverty a crime that wealth would allow them to forget. — from the notebooks of Celal Salik


To write is to transform that inward gaze into words, to study the worlds into which we pass when we retire into ourselves, and to do so with patience, obstinacy, and joy.


As much as I live I shall not imitate them or hate myself for being different to them


I’d been living luminously between two eternities of darknness.


Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.


It’s such a shame that we know so little about our own country, that we can’t find it in our hearts to love our own kind. Instead we admire those who show our country disrespect and betray its people.


The sea was as dark as dreams and as deep as sleep.


Yet does illustrating in a new way signify a new way of seeing?


This is the greatest consolation in life. In poetically well-built museums, formed from the heart’s compulsions, we are consoled not by finding in them old objects that we love, but by losing all sense of Time.


Heroic dreams are the consolation of the unhappy. After all, when people like us say we’re being heroic, it usually means we’re about to kill each other–or kill ourselves.


It was the happiest moment of my life, though I didn’t know it.


I asked him about his enemies. He began to count them. The list went on and on….” – Conversations with Yahya Kemal


It’s not enough to be oppressed, you must also be in the right. Most oppressed people are in the wrong to an almost ridiculous degree. What shall I believe in?


Eventually, we come to love certain novels because we have expended so much imaginative labor on them. This is why we hang on to those novels, whose pages are creased and dog-eared.


The gap between compassion and surrender is love’s darkest, deepest region.


Life is short, and we should respect every moment of it.


I don’t much care whether rural Anatolians or Istanbul secularists take power. I’m not close to any of them. What I care about is respect for the individual.


Good fiction is about asserting the beauties of the world, inventing a new, positive thing. Where am I going to get that? And it should be original; it should not be cliched. So the way I looked at history was not to accuse it of failure.


The writer’s secret is not inspiration – for it is never clear where it comes from – it is his stubbornness, his patience.


The secularists in Turkey haven’t underestimated religion, they just made the mistake of believing they could control it with the power of the army alone.


The fictive structure, my work, my imagination, my books are about the details, the huge construction about culture, Islamic culture or modern Turkey. They’re all intertwined.


I have always thought that the place where you sleep or the place you share with your partner should be separate from the place where you write. The domestic rituals and details somehow kill the imagination. They kill the demon in me.


Authoritarianism, an unrealistic occidental imagination – these issues will never be settled. Turkey will continue to take Europe as a model; it will continue to pursue its search for democracy.


‘The Museum of Innocence’ is not about politics; it’s a love story, but I think it’s political in the sense that it wants to capture how a man suppresses a woman.


My home is attached to a study – in fact, my home is my study, and I have a little room to sleep in. I need to write looking onto the street or a landscape. Looking at reality from some distance gives me romantic visions.


I would be pleased if someone would invent a pill to remove my impatience, moodiness, and occasional bursts of anger. But if they did, I wouldn’t be able to write my novels or paint.



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