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martes, 17 de junio de 2014

Orhan Pamuk, on time

Thanks to Adam for sharing his notes from the chapter on Time.

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My life has taught me that remembering Time – that line connecting all the moments that Aristotle called the present – is for most of us a rather painful business. When we try to conjure up the line connecting all the objects that carry those moments inside them, we are forced to remember that the line comes to an end, and to contemplate death. As we get older and come to the painful realization that this line per se has no real meaning – a sense that comes to us cumulatively in intimations we struggle to ignore – we are brought to sorrow. But sometimes these moments we call the “present” can bring us enough happiness to last a century, as they did if Füsun smiled, in the days when I was going to Cukurcuma for supper. I knew from the beginning that I was going to the Keskin house hoping to harvest enough happiness to last me the rest of my life, and it was to preserve these happy moments for the future that I picked up so many objects large and small that Füsun had touched, and took them away with me.
(288).


For me, happiness is in reliving those unforgettable moments. If we can learn to stop thinking of our lives as a line… treasuring our time instead for its deepest moments, each in turn, then waiting eight years at your beloved’s dinner table no longer seems such a strange and laughable obsession but rather (as I would discover much later) assumes the reality of 1,593 happy nights at Füsun’s dinner table. Today I remember each and every evening I went to supper in Cukurcuma – even the most difficult, most hopeless, most humiliating evenings – as happiness.

(289).

- Orhan Pamuk


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