Orhan Pamuk turns contradictions into ways of being, as one of his translators, Erdağ Göknar, puts it. Scholars write about his playing with east and west, with words and images, with fiction and reality, and with the secular and the religious. My aim is to show how the translation – the reading of a work through translation – of Orhan Pamuk’s Kırmızı Saçlı Kadın into Norwegian, Kvinnen med rødt hår, can shed new light on the understanding of these contradictions. I start by approaching the contradictory nature of Pamuk’s work through Linda Hutcheon’s concept of «a poetics of postmodernism» and Pascale Casanova’s concept of a «world republic of letters» before I move on to my own translation of the novel. By focusing on style and the stylistic features in Kırmızı Saçlı Kadın, on Pamuk’s use of other texts, and finally of other visual expressions in his novel, I explore how the already mentioned contradictions can be revealed also in the novel’s language, and how it affects the translation. In my conclusion, I argue that the close-reading and the practical «hands-on» approach that constitute a translation, offers an important possibilty to understand texts, and that this intersection – between literary analysis and translation – is a fruitful place to work from, as it contributes to the understanding of both literature and the process of literary translation.