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Pamela Moberg

Orhan Pamuk awarded Nobel Prize

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The news that Orhan Pamuk has been declared the Nobel laureate 2006 has generally

been received very well here in Sweden.

Comparing with the terrible debacles of the past two years, it is hardly surprising

that the choice of Orhan Pamuk was welcomed.

Personally I am also pleased that the prize goes to someone of reasonable age. In the past it

has happened that the prize has been awarded to some obscure octagonarian of whom one has

never heard again.

One past award that I liked very much was the South African writer J.M. Coetzee and I found

his books wonderful. I believe Mr. Coetzee is a friend of BA poster R.S. Edgecombe.

Two years ago someone rather obscure called Elfriede Jelinek won. She didnt even bother

to attend the prize giving ceremony, claiming she was "too shy to appear in public". That

is what I call pure bad manners. She delivered some sort of talk which was filmed at her

home in Austria where she sat surrounded by cuddly toys.

Then last year we had Harold Pinter who didnt appear either, claiming sickness. Well, the man

had actually suffered a minor stroke - but he also sent a taped lecture in which he

attacked everything from the US to President Bush to all governments right, left and center.

The whole speech was a catastrophy.

Now we only hope that Orhan Pamuk will attend the ceremony and behave as a decent man and

not make an ass of himself in public. As far as I know, he is delighted and will be delighted

to come. Even more delighted will be Princess Christina who traditionally always sits beside

be winner of the literature prize.

A couple of words about the author: He was born 1952 in Istanbul, Turkey. He is not a Muslim

writer, I would call him totally secular - nor is he a political writer although politics

play a great part in his writings. And that is only natural - Turkey has lived through many

political upheavals. His most famous books are "Red" 2002, "Snow" 2005 and "Istanbul -

memories of a city" 2006.

Must confess I havent read him, but about a year ago the English paper Guardian printed

extracts from his books. I liked what I read and on a subsequent visit to northern

England I found that his books had sold out - obviously on the strength of these excerpts.

As I do not read Turkish I shall have to read him in English. What worries me is that the

books to be sold in this country will be translated from the English into the Swedish.

Turkish-English-Swedish = "Lost in translation"! :wink: :huepfen024:

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I'm looking forward to getting acquainted with this work. A day or two ago, NPR (National Public Radio) had a piece about the response in Istanbul to this news. Among those who detest Pamuk for his willingness to admit the existence of Turkish genocide against the Armenian people a century ago, the reaction was vitriolic.

Regarding some of the Nobel Committee's odd choices for the literature prize in the past, our local paper had a funny piece yesterday. It's title: "And the prize for garbled prose goes to . . . Nobel Prize for literature commendations, decoded."

Part of the article is reproduced Here:

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Thanks Bart for that wonderful Palm Beach paper article, I really rolled on the floor laughing.

(I am afraid that I pressed a lot of wrong keys somewhere here, so if this post is in a mess, please forgive.)

As I will be in the front row on Dec. 10 (Nobel night) and I always have a very special dinner that evening, I offer to be the official BA reporter from the festivities. Joking of course, I will be in front of my TV set.

But actually, some tickets for both ceremony and the ensuing dinner-dance at Stockholm Town Hall are on sale to the general public. I have always wanted to attend, it is very festive, but the cost would be prohibitive, fares, hotels and then clothes because one would want to look good! :wink:

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Do report back! I'd love to hear about it and I'm sure others would.

I’m sure Pamuk is deserving, political motivations for the selection aside, but at the risk of sounding chauvinistic it seems to me it’s about time for them to pick an American again. Norman Mailer has seniority, but there’s also Roth, De Lillo, etc. Gore Vidal is not a great imaginative writer but he’d be a worthy choice, too.

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dirac, I think it would be rather tricky to award the literature prize to an American this year as an overwhelming number (perhaps all??) of the Nobel laureates for science are American.

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Good point, GWTW, but I'm not sure how their decision making process works in that respect.

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