In what category should we place the writing of Turkey’s only Nobel laureate novelist, Orhan Pamuk? Is it ‘fiction’? Or perhaps, ‘non-Western fiction’? But how can we define his work as ‘non-Western’, when it is not considered to be completely ‘Western’ by some? Even Pamuk has been quoted as saying, ‘as someone who has sat at the table of a secular Republican family I live as someone affected by Western, Cartesian rationalism’. On the other hand, his fictional novels have been translated into sixty-one different languages around the world. It is surely a huge success for an author who belongs to a ‘non-Western’ literary world, or ‘third-world literature’. Can we consider his work as a part of world literature canon or not.
Though Pamuk talks about his ‘Cartesian rationality’, he also says:
I open myself to other texts, other books. I don’t see those texts as a necessity, I take pleasure in reading them, I feel a joy. Where pleasure is felt, the self is affected. Where the self is affected, I also have the control of my reason. Perhaps my books find themselves without bickering or scuffling between these two centres.