East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Nobel savage

I've a hunch that Orhan Pamuk's Snow, more than any other novel this decade, will be read fifty, a hundred years from now, so if the Nobel committee want to give him the gong, they'll one day seem prophetic. It seems unlikely that his career achievements yet match up to, say, Roth or Kundera (I couldn't get through his previous My Name Is Red), but Snow is easily good enough to overcome objections on grounds of quality.

Pamuk is awaiting trial for mentioning the Armenian Genocide in an interview. The law he's accused of breaking isn't religious--it's a rarely enforced nationalist law against slandering the motherland--but the forces behind charging him are. It's unlikely he'll receive any penalty. Most of Turkey is ready to join the EU (at least as ready as Britain was), and reactionaries should not be permitted to prevent this. Of course one wishes that Turkey take an honest look at its history. But one wishes that about many nations.

EDIT Oct. 13: Pinter? I guess as long as it isn't for his poetry...


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