Saturday, October 28, 2006

Orhan's Medicine

Nobel prize-winning novelist, Orhan Pamuk celebrates 30 years of spinning fictions. In the Guardian he writes about what fiction, and writing, mean to him. He likens them to a dose of medicine that he must take every day in order to be happy:

Let me explain what I feel on a day when I've not written well, if I'm not lost in a book. First, the world changes before my eyes: it becomes unbearable, abominable; those who know me can see it happening to me, too, for I myself come to resemble the world I see around me. For example, my daughter can tell that I have not written well that day from the abject hopelessness on my face in the evening. I would like to be able to hide this from her, but I cannot. During these dark moments, I feel as if there is no line between life and death. I don't want to speak to anyone, and anyone seeing me in this state has no desire to speak to me either. A milder version of this despair descends on me every afternoon, in fact, between one and three, but I have learned how to treat it by reading and writing: if I act promptly, I can save myself from a full retreat to my corpse.

If I've had to go a long stretch without my paper-and-ink cure, be it due to travel, an unpaid gas bill, military service (as was once the case), political affairs (as has been the case more recently) or any number of other obstacles, I can feel my misery setting inside me like cement. My body has difficulty moving through space, my joints get stiff, my head turns to stone, my perspiration even seems to have another smell. This misery can only grow, for life is full of punishments that distance a person from literature. ...

Related Posts:

It's Pamuk! (12/10/05)
Pamuk and the Novel (29/10/05)


Anonymous said...

Heh.. this can be summarized in two words : it's therapeutic. Yeah you write because you have to, otherwise you'd go nuts :)

bibliobibuli said...

yes. i think that's true.