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Rarely There

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Friday, October 13, 2006

orhan pamuk

Quite accidentally, on a whim, I had picked up My Name is Red several months back from my public library - partially because I was intrigued by the title, partially because I had never heard of the author before and I liked his name, and partially because I was attracted to the cover design.

I started reading it with some skepticism. I loved it. I loved the style, even though it is an English translation, knowing that nuances are sometimes lost in translation.

Nobel prize used to be a dream when i was still in grad school wayyy back when. My friends and I would practise our Nobel speech in front of a mirror. Didn't matter which field we would be awarded the prize. But, when I "grew up", I realized it shall remain a dream, nothing more.

There are Six Nobel Prizes awarded each year, one in each of the categories: literature, physics, chemistry, peace, economics, and physiology & medicine. And, when I read about the Nobel prize for literature for 2006, I sported a smug look for a while because I had heard of the author and I had read one of his books.

And then, I had a brief fleeting thought about such awards - especially awards in literature: are they usually for the writing itself, or for the strong reactions they arouse, or both? or more? i mean, it can't just be for the literary prowess - how could you decide that?

After all, 'The Nobel Prize must never go to the book of the season. It exists to reward a life's work,' said poet and literary critic Eva Ström.

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