Posted by: glue | March 18, 2010


Flash reason is a practice for noticing, recording, expressing a figure (the figural).  Composing a primal scene is not unlike composing a poem.  Orhan Pamuk’s Snow, about the exiled poet Ka returning to his native Turkey, dramatizes the relevant sort of experience involved, in which a match between quotidian circumstances or actions and memory produces the intensity that calls for expression.  It is a moment of pure prudence (a time image).


The poem was made up of many of the thoughts that had come to him all at once a short while earlier:  the falling snow, cemeteries, the black dog running happily around the station building, an assortment of childhood memories, and the image that had lured him back to the hotel:  Ipek.  How happy it made him just to imagine her face — and also how terrified! He called the poem “Snow.”  Much later, when he thought about how he’d written this poem, he had a vision of a snowflake; this snowflake, he decided, was his life writ small; the poem that had unlocked the meaning of his life he now saw sitting at its center.  But — just as the poem itself defies easy explanation — it is difficult to say how much he decided at that moment and how much of his life was determined by the hidden symmetries this book is seeking to unveil.

(Orhan Pamuk, Snow).

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