Edinburgh International Conference Center
Sunday 18th September
Not only is the Edinburgh International Book Festival spilling out into half the New Town, through its Booked! events, we’re now moving forwards in time as well. One must also admit that the Edinburgh International Conference Center is a most ravishingly salubrious local for a literary chit-chat, presenting us with the E.I.B.F @ the E.I.C.C.. Just as at Charlotte Square, we are given an hour with an author & a suitable raconteur. On this occasion, it was Nobel Prize winning Turkish author, Orhan Pamuk, with Stuart Kelly conducting the event. Kelly had given Pamuk’s breakthrough book, My Name Is Red, a very favorable review, & so as a fan, to speak, the proceedings were congenial to experience.
Orhan Pamuk’s latest book, The Red-Haired Woman, is something that had been fermenting in his psyche for ever two decades. A short novel about a well-digger & his son, he has as always injected himself & his experiences into the text, & laden it with Turkish such culturisms as a forged in the land where west meets east in phantastical clashes, upon which minds the brightest & keenest artistic minds may feed. Pamuk is clearly one of these avatars, for into his novel, as he so energetically told us with a voice that sounded like a bowstring quimmering after release, he pours father-son tragedies such as Sohrab & Rustum, & Oedipus Rex. He then delighted in telling us how Sophocles nigh-forgotten play was brought to international fame by Sigmund Freud, & also how the modern audience has a completely different response to the play. Where we show pity, the ancients were glad to see some proper karmic retribution. Such musing sealed the deal for me, & I recognized a deep-souled individual in Mr Pamuk & even bought a book as I departed.
Reviewer : Damo