Pamuk's article In Defence of the Ideal Reader appeared in the Age a few days ago, and is well worth reading in full. Here's just a snip of it:
Writers write for their ideal reader, for their loved ones, for themselves or for no one. All this is true. But it is also true that today's literary writers also write for those who read them. So the needling questions and suspicion about these writers' true intentions reflect a disquiet about the cultural order that has come into being.Related Posts
The people who find it most disturbing are the representatives of non-Western nations and their cultural institutions. Crisis-ridden non-Western states that are anxious about national identity - and reluctant to face up to the black marks in their histories - are suspicious of novelists who view history and nationalism from a non-national perspective.
In their view, novelists who do not write for national audiences are exoticising that country for "foreign consumption" and inventing problems that have no basis in reality.
There is a parallel suspicion in the West, where many readers believe that local literatures should remain pure and true to their national roots: Their secret fear is that a writer who addresses an international readership and draws from traditions outside his own culture will lose his authenticity.
Who Do You Write For? (11/4/06)