Pamuk at the Frankfurt Book Fair
I haven't written about Orhan Pamuk in a while (not since this), but came across a notable piece of news in the New York Times this afternoon. Speaking at the Frankfurt Book Fair - at which Turkey is the Fair's Guest of Honor, and with the Turkish President Abdullah Gul in the audience - Pamuk said:
"A century of banning and burning books, of throwing writers into prison or killing them or branding them as traitors and sending them into exile, and continuously denigrating them in the press — none of this has enriched Turkish literature — it has only made it poorer."In a quote picked up by the article in the Guardian, Pamuk added:
"Are we going to convince ourselves that our own culture and identity is unique, and then shut ourselves away, or are we going to value the richness of our cultural traditions and our own uniqueness while giving equal value to free expression?"The Fair, it seems, also included a symposium entitled "Imaginary East - Imaginary West. Thinking Across Civilizations." (Find the schedule here) I don't have much more at the moment, except to note that Pamuk's increasingly political position. I remember reading an essay of his on Camus, in which he sympathized with Camus' plight when forced to take sides in Algeria's war with France, and thinking that Pamuk might easily have been writing about himself. More to think about, I suppose.