Orhan Pamuk’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech

For me, to be a writer is to acknowledge the secret wounds that we carry
inside us, wounds so secret that we ourselves are barely aware of them, and to
patiently explore them, know them, illuminate them, own them, and make them a
conscious part of our spirit and our writing…
All writers who have devoted their lives to
their work know this reality: whatever our original purpose, the world that we
create after years and years of hopeful writing will, in the end, take us to
other, very different places. It will take us far from the table at which we
have worked in sadness or in anger; it will take us to the other side of that
sadness and anger, into another world.
The question we writers are asked most
often, the favorite question, is: Why do you write? I write because I have an
innate need to write. I write because I can’t do normal work as other people do.
I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am
angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I
write because I can partake of real life only by changing it. I write because I
want others, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue
to live, in Istanbul, in Turkey. I write because I love the smell of paper, pen,
and ink. I write because I believe in literature, in the art of the novel, more
than I believe in anything else. I write because it is a habit, a passion. I
write because I am afraid of being forgotten. I write because I like the glory
and interest that writing brings. I write to be alone. Perhaps I write because I
hope to understand why I am so very, very angry at everyone. I write because I
like to be read. I write because once I have begun a novel, an essay, a page I
want to finish it. I write because everyone expects me to write. 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 life’s
beauties and riches into words. I write not to tell a story but to compose a
story. I write because I wish to escape from the foreboding that there is a
place I must go but—as in a dream—can’t quite get to. I write because I have
never managed to be happy. I write to be happy.
from "My Father’s
Suitcase," The 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature acceptance speech by Orhan

[via JC]

3 thoughts on “Orhan Pamuk’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech

  1. Pamuk’s writing and my painting fallow a somewhat paralel course.He could be speaking for me:I paint because I’m angry…..I paint because I love painting, I have things to say, my language is my painting,I want people to see what I see…
    Pamuk is good for us, he is timely, he is essential, he offers a way to understand what is happening in a part of the world we invade in more then one way, but are ignorent of and do not see as a place where people are like us, want the same things we do but are caught in a terrible predicement of history…People want to be happy, but this is a very difficult simplicity to achieve. Pamuk shows us the complexities that are in the way…..

Comments are closed.