There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune

The Swedes Get It Wrong, Again


A couple of months ago, on a lazy Sunday, I was reading quietly at my local cafe, which is partly-owned by one of my friends. The only reason I bring this up is because I'm reasonably sure Orhan Pamuk was sitting a few tables down, and now he seems to be in the news.

This decision seems to be a political one by the Swedish Academy, fitting with a well-established pattern of picking radical chic politics over literary merit (cf. Pinter, Harold). I have only read bits and pieces of his latest Istanbul book, but I'm reliably informed that he's not even the best Turkish writer, let alone a world-class wordsmith in the Nobel league.

Mr. Pamuk is receiving this prize because he was threatened with jail time by certain Turkish factions who have ostensibly taken offence to some of his public statements. In reality, these nationalists, represented by the clown-attorney Kemal Kerincsiz, are trying their best to make Turkey look stupid and backward on the international stage, in order to scupper Turkey's bid to join the European Union. Mr. Kerincsiz has used time-honoured courtroom tactics such as throwing eggs, taking off his shirt, and screaming until he foams at the mouth. And, due in part to these antics, Mr. Pamuk is now the recipient of a prize which has, over the years, been severely cheapened by the Academy's whorish preference of politics over art. From Sweden to Anatolia, this episode reeks of low farce.

About me

  • I'm Sunset Shazz
  • Living the dream in Istanbul, Turkey
  • I grew up in the hardscrabble streets of suburban Ottawa, Ontario, committing petty crime, insulting the elderly - basically the classic misspent youth. When I was 19, I moved to West Philly, where I put myself through the Wharton School by dealing crack and hustling. After stints in Paris and London, I eventually graduated and moved to San Francisco, where I put in eight years hard labor working for The Man. But now I pop bottles with models, deciding cracked crab or lobster - who says mobsters don't prosper?
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