Monday, January 23, 2006

The paradox behind Orhan's letting off


In a major event that is sure to mark itself out in opinion columns over the coming weeks, Turkish authorities have dropped the charges against novelist Orhan Pamuk.

In a delicious irony, Pamuk's case catapulted the writer to global recognition and he deservedly used the acclaim to spread his message across the world.

I linked to a lot of stuff on him over the past few months, a recollection of which is given below.

Fight for novelist's soul
Padgaonkar's meeting
Pamuk's views

This however has a downside. Pamuk's case, had it gone on, would have raised his stature to that of a global figure ala Salman Rushdie. He has been milking the prosecution cow to spread his very relevant and appropriate message. He would have earned himself many more such opportunities in the eventuality of the case dragging on and his words would have been hungrily lapped up by the media.

One can't begruge him his "release", but I have a suspicion Pamuk might himself have been disappointed with this anticlimactic closure.

That incidentally is the paradox of an artist's life.

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