Orhan Pamuk looks to Faulkner for courage and Marquez for inspiration
Turkey's only Nobel Laureate, Orhan Pamuk, took the stage at the 2009 Miami Book Fair International and introduced the storyline and characters of his new novel The Museum Of Innocence (Knopf; October, 2009), about a love triangle with a twist in Istanbul, before reading several passages from the book. Beginning with a passages describing the narrator's agony after falling in love with a woman he does not know while engaged to another woman he does not really love, and the narrator's subsequent obsession with the mystery woman, Pamuk tells the story of the narrator's search for lost love in the marketplaces of Istanbul, where he finds athe mystery woman and falls into a love triangle with her and her porn producer husband, who hope to get the narrator to bankroll their movies, whereupon, the narrator proposes eloping. Answering questions from the audience, Pamuk reflected on Istanbul as inspiration for his novels; confided his appreciation of William Faulkner, particularly for his courage to be a provincial writer in a sophisticated literary world; his view that Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the world's greatest living writer; and his opinion that Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Proust, and Mann were the four greatest masters of fiction of all time. The event quickly turned more political when Pamuk was asked to compare Rome and Istanbul historically and explain his controversial 2005 statement on mass killings of Armenians and Kurds of 1915-1917, before he was ambushed by a Turkish woman who took the opportunity to criticize his work. Artfully dodging the bullet, Pamuk wrapped his book event by taking questions on the challenges of accurate linguistic and cultural translation of his novels and his artistic training as a painter.
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