Orhan Pamuk: Why do I write?
babelmed - 21/12/2006
Today, Babelmed is only reproducing excerpts from the Stockholm speech and to provide a link to the complete speech and to the most important book of the Nobel Prize available in English.
Why do I write ?
All has been said about Orhan Pamuk, yesterday condemned by the Turkish judicial, today Nobel Prize for Literature 2006. His speech given on 7 December at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm is a beautiful plea for literature, a moving text with a suitcase as the central piece, a suitcase filled with note pads written par his father and given to Orhan Pamuk, a suitcase which symbolises the passage of knowledge from father to son.
Today, Babelmed is only reproducing excerpts from the Stockholm speech and to provide a link to the complete speech and to the most important book of the Nobel Prize available in English
A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is: when I speak of writing, what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and alone, turns inward; amid its shadows, he builds a new world with words. (…)
To write is to turn this inward gaze into words, to study the world into which that person passes when he retires into himself, and to do so with patience, obstinacy, and joy.(…)
The writer’s secret is not inspiration – for it is never clear where it comes from – it is his stubbornness, his patience. That lovely Turkish saying – to dig a well with a needle – seems to me to have been said with writers in mind.(…)
I write because I have an innate need to write! I write because I can’t do normal work like other people. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at all of you, angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can only partake in real life by changing it. I write because I want others, all of us, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue to live, in Istanbul, in Turkey.(…)
I write because I have a childish belief in the immortality of libraries, and in the way my books sit on the shelf. I write because it is exciting to turn all of life’s beauties and riches into words.
Full text at: www.svenskaakademien.se/
(the text is also available in Turkish, French, German and Swedish at the same address)