Thursday, October 12th, 2006

Orhan Pamuk wins the Nobel

You’ve probably already seen it, but Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, author of My Name is Red and Snow, has won the Nobel Prize for Liturerature (official announcement). As something of a Turkophile*—albeit one who’s stuck half-way through Red—that’s great news.

I think this means three things:

  • The much-shortlisted Yaşar Kemal will die without a Nobel. He’s 83 and they’re not going to give it to two Turks in a short span of years.
  • Pamuk is now effectively immune from prosecution for “insulting Turkishness.” Much the same happened to Mahfouz, from being accused of apostasy for Children of Gebelawi and banned in much of the Arab world for supporting peace with Isreal, to being something of a national treasure, put to rest with a state funeral.
  • needs to pick up! At least nine languages are usable and even Welsh is 40% translated, but Turkish is languishing in the single-digits. Why not celebrate Pamuk’s Nobel by entering all your Turkish books and doing a little translating of the site? LibraryThing even has a Turkish library on tap!

*Lived in Bodrum and Alanya for about a year total. Speak bad kitchen-Turkish. Note, a serious Hellenophile as well. Just take a look at my books! I HATE that I have to say this, but, from experience, I do.

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