Monday, October 31, 2005

Utanc and European civilisation

"When we in Turkey discuss the east-west question, when we talk of the tensions between tradition and modernity (which, to my mind, is what the east-west question is really all about), or when we prevaricate over our country's relations with Europe, the question of shame is always lurking between the lines.

...The novel, like orchestral music and post-Renaissance painting, is in my opinion one of the cornerstones of European civilisation...The great novelists I read as a child and a young man did not define Europe by its Christian faith but by its individuals. It was because they described Europe through heroes who were struggling to free themselves, express their creativity and make their dreams come true, that their novels spoke to my heart...If Europe's soul is enlightenment, equality and democracy, if it is to be a union predicated on peace, then Turkey has a place in it".
From Orhan Pamuk's As Others See Us, an acceptance speech for the 2005 Friedenpreis.

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