Pamuk The Native and the Sentimental Novelist

The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist: Understanding What Happens When We Write and Read Novels

The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist: Understanding What Happens When We Write and Read Novels

先々週、Orhan PamukThe Native and the Sentimental Novelist: Understanding What Happens When We Write and Read Novels(Translated by Nazim Dikbas)*1を読了。

1 What Our Minds Do When Read Novels
2 Mr. Pamuk, Did All This Really Happen To You?
3 Literary Character, Plot, Time
4 Words, Pictures, Objects
5 Museums and Novels
6 The Center


ハーヴァード大学におけるNorton Lecturesをベースにした本。小説家による、小説とは何かを巡る省察。例えば、絵画や映画、詩歌、お伽話といった他の藝術的(文学的)形式と小説とはどう違うのか。

(…) A novel can, from time to time, provide the same pleasures that a biography, a film, a poem, a painting, or a fairy tale provides. Yet the true, unique effect of this art is fundamentally different from that of other literary genres, film, and painting.(...) (p.5)
“Novels are second lives.”という冒頭の一文(p.3)。(夢のように)虚構でありがならリアルであること。或いはリアルなのに嘘。”In spite of what we know about fiction, we are annoyed and bothered if a novel fails to sustain the illusion that it is actually real life”(ibid.).

We dream assuming dreams to be real: such is the definition of dreams. And so we read novels assuming them to be real―but somewhere in our mind we also know very well that our assumption is false. This paradox stems from the nature of the novel.(...) (p.4)

(…) some novelists are unaware of the techniques they are using; they write spontaneously, as if they were carrying out a perfectly natural act, oblivious to the operations and calculations they are performing in ther head and to the fact that they are using the gears, bakes, and knobs that the art of the novel equips them with. Let us use the word “naive” to describe this type of sensiblity, tis type of novelist and novel reader―those who are not at all concerned with the artificial aspects of writing and reading a novel. And let us use the term “reflective” to describe precisely the opposite sensibility: in other words, the readers and writers who are fascinated by the artificiality of the text and its failure to attain reality, and who pay close attention to the methods used in writing novels and to the way our mind works as we read. Being a novelist is the art of being both naive and reflective at the same time.
Or being both naive and “sentimental.” Friedrich Schiller was first to propose the distinction, in his famaous essay “Uber naive und sentimentalische Dichtung”(On Naive and Sentimental Poetry; 1795-1796). The word sentimentalisch in German, used by Schiller to describe the thoughtful, troubled modern poet who has lost his childlike character and naivete, is somewhat different in meaning from the word “sentimental,” its counterpeart in English. But let us not dwell on this word, which, in any case, Schiller borrowed from English, inspired by Lawrence Sterne's Sentimental Journey. (Listing examples of naive, childlike geniuses, Schiller respectfully mentions Sterne, along with other such as Dante, Shakespeare, Cervantes, Goethe, and even Durer.) It suffices for us to note that Schiller uses the word sentimentalisch to describe the state of mind whichhas strayed from nature's simplicity and power and has become too caught up in its own emotions and thoughts. (…) (pp.13-14)

(…) For them[naive poets]--in contrast to contemporary writers―poerty os like an impression that nature makes upon them quite organically and that never leaves them. Poetry comes spontaneously to naive poets from the natural universe they are part of it.(...) (pp.14-15)

(…) the “sentimental”(emotional, reflective) poet is uneasy, above all, in one respect: he is unsure whether his words will encompass reality, whether they will attain it, whether his utterances will convey the meaning he intends. So he is exceedingly aware of the poem he writes, the methods and techniques he uses, and the artifice involved in his endeavor. The naive poet does not differenciate much between his perception of the world and the world itself. But the modern, sentimental-reflective poet questions everything he perceives, even his very senses. And he is concerned about educative, ethical, and intellectual principles when he casts his perceptions into verse. (pp.15-16)