October 20, 2006

Pamuk: a “detached father”

Filed under: culture, literature — ted @ 1:56 pm

Fascinating editorial by Elif Shafak in today’s Guardian, in which she analyzes the relationship between writer and public in modern Turkey, focusing on Orhan Pamuk. Essential reading.

Here’s a sample:

Ever since the end of the 19th century Turkish society has been in a hurry. Abdullah Cevdet, one of the most radical thinkers of the late Ottoman Empire, asked despairingly “how long has it taken the western world to reach the level of civilisation that they now enjoy? Four hundred years perhaps? Can we wait that long?” His conclusion was that in order to catch up with western civilisation the flow of time had to be speeded up. This was the task that fell upon the Turkish intelligentsia – to quicken the flow of history, to expedite the process of westernisation – placing writers at the forefront of efforts to mould Turkish society.


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