Beyaz kale and the other stories….

I have been meaning to write about Pamuk’s Nobel victory but raging misogynists and false feminists and my general apathy towards “prizes” in popular culture have led to an embarrassing deviation. I apologize.

I like Orhan bey, if I may say so. His books have often transported me to a world I had previously very little in common with. I remember how his head-scarf girls haunted my nights on end after the completion of Snow. I discovered Istanbul post a fiery argument with a Turkish Algerian friend and in my pathetic attempt to ransack his spartan home, I landed a copy. A dog-eared copy that was smeared with sauce. Boy doesn’t value his books. The book occupies a the top rung in my current collection of Middle-Eastern and political writers.
I don’t like to label him as readily as most do, Islamic world’s secular voice, political writer etc etc, those things are fairly important but not as much as his ability to write some of the most imagination-defying stories. As a reader thats exactly what matters. Above and beyond the agenda.
My name is Red was a definite revelation. Melancholy and nostalgia might be a cliches but much loved cliches nonetheless. He weaves alternate worlds of fundamentalism and secularism, love and heartache, into the same gritty fabric with incomparable finesse. Its baroque and bold and beautifully layered. The prose is often sublime and subtle and still transcends the immediate cultural and regional boundaries.
And that, is the hallmark of any great Art.

Also, congratulations – The authentic revolutionary.


~ by iconoplastic on October 16, 2006.

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