What happens within us when we read a novel? And how does a novel create its unique effects, so distinct from those of a painting, a film, or a poem?
In this fascinating set of essays, based on the talks he delivered at Harvard University as part of the distinguished Norton Lecture series, Pamuk presents a masterful theory of the novel. Drawing on Friedrich Schiller's famous distinction between ‘naïve' writers—those who write spontaneously—and ‘sentimental' writers—those who are reflective and aware—Pamuk reveals two unique ways of processing and composing the written word. He takes us through his own literary journey and looks at the works of writers such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Stendhal, Flaubert, Proust, Mann, and Naipaul to describe the singular experience of reading. Unique, nuanced, and passionate, this book will be beloved by readers and writers alike.