Thursday, October 12, 2006

Orhan Pamuk!

I was so excited when I heard today's announcement of the winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature...
Orhan Pamuk...
a Turkish author who, quoting the Swedish Academy, "in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures."

My friend Milan was lucky enough to meet Pamuk in person in May (I'm so jealous!). He was also nice enough to let me use his picture for this blog post.

Pamuk is probably one of the most perfect choices for the Nobel Prize. The announcement is definitely cause for celebration.

How am I going to celebrate?
I am going to pick up a copy of Istanbul: Memories and the City, a book that Milan and I both have on our wishlists. While I fully expect that copy to make it into Milan's m-bag, I'm not going to get a second copy until after Christmas so as not to thwart any gift-giving plans my friends or family might have. ;)


  1. And, because I have a gift for reading minds, I will respond to the comment before it is even posted...

    Don't even try to talk me out of it! I was going to pick out a book for Buy a friend a book week anyway. hugs!

  2. A well-deserving friend to buy a book for, indeed!!!!

    Your post, though, makes me feel terribly... well, unsophisticated. I have a feeling if I tried to read Pamuk, it wouldn't be pretty. You and Milan, at times, make me feel like the stupid sister shoved in the corner! (and I'm okay with that)

  3. Karen I'm so flattered cause you've post my photo with Mr. Pamuk and indeed, that meeting was the biggest literary event in my life so far. I remember (and I guess you too and all our friends from bookrelay) how excited and nervous I was. I was afraid will I forget my English, will I be clumsy etc. but Mr. Pamuk is such a dear man and conversation was so relaxed and very pleasant.

    Yesterday, when my friend called me (less than an hour after Swedish Academy's announcement) and tell: "That Turkish writer of yours has won Nobel!" I was so incredibly happy! I would be happier only if one Serbian writer has won the Prize. And to get full picture how huge Pamuk-fan I am just observe that "of yours" from my friend's sentence. LOL

    I completely agree that Pamuk is an exquisite choice for Nobel Prize; On the back cover of my copy of "My Name is Red" there is something like "only Nobel Prize is missing", well not anymore and indeed it's a great cause for celebration ... we are thinking the same :-)
    Big hug!

  4. Great way to celebrate, Karen! I recently bought a copy of that book (Istanbul: Memories and the City) to give a friend. Maybe I'll have to buy another for myself, from what I've seen of it, it's a keeper!

  5. Few hours after I found out news about Pamuk I sent congratulation-letter to one Turkish girl from Istanbul (I’ve met her through postcrossing).
    This was part of her reply:

    "Thank you for your message but at work we are talking about his prize and we are not surprised to hear that he got Nobel Prize. As long as he is on the side of the countries which are against Turkey, he will get more prizes. That is very normal […]"

    I knew she dislikes Pamuk very much from first letter few months ago. Moreover she said that majority of young educated population and intellectuals are "very sad" cause he’s so popular (she was sad cause I like him too). Of course, that has every connection with his statements about Turkish genocide against Armenians at the beginning of 20th century and with current ethnic cleansing and neglecting rights of Kurd population in Turkey. As we know he was accused for insult of Turkish state and Nation but those accusations has been withdrawn before trial.
    That part I could understand since I live in region where knowing the truth from the past is not easy process but what has left me speechless is her statement how Pamuk in his work shows how much "he hates his own country and that’s why he is popular in the west since it is so clear that Turkey has always been a powerful country and that is why the others do not like it and are afraid of it."

    How sad ... simply his motherland is not ready for such a great man.

  6. Well actually majority of the intellectuals are euphoric, she must have had the wrong impression.(or the wrong newspaper:)).

  7. I'm very glad to hear that anonymous :)
    I hope I'll get full impression in coming days when I'll spend a week in Istanbul (30th Oct - 6th Nov). Also probably I'll meet that girl and Pamuk will be one of our topics for sure.