Sunday, March 22, 2009

Quote of the day: Orhan Pamuk - "Snow"

Just finished Snow (2001), by the Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, and it's a suitable read for our gloomy winter nights here in Oregon in fact, very reminiscent of Dostoyevsky at his darkest and most philosophical. In one chapter, set in the remote border town of Kars, the narrator invites a group of young people to give Westerners a message. One of them responds:
"Mankind's greatest error," continued the young Kurd, "the biggest deception in the past thousand years is this: to confuse poverty with stupidity...People might feel sorry for a man who's fallen on hard times, but when the entire nation is poor, the rest of the world assumes all of its people must be brainless, lazy, dirty, clumsy fools. Instead of pity, the people provoke laughter. It's all a joke: their culture, their customs, their practices."

PHOTO: Orhan Pamuk (Wikipedia Commons)

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