Orhan Pamuk has mixed feelings about publication of his books in Iran

May 9, 2018 - 18:31

TEHRAN – Turkey’s Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk has said that he has mixed emotions about the publication of his books by Persian companies in Iran.

Speaking during a press conference organized by his Iranian publisher Qoqnus at Tehran’s Niavaran Cultural Historical Palace on Wednesday, he said that he feels doubly happy when a his work published in Persian, but he also feels dissatisfied with it since Iran does not hold a membership in any of the international copyright conventions.

He noted that he wants his books to be published based on the international conventions on copyrights and by a single publisher and translator.

He pointed to the historical affinities between Turkey and Iran and said that he feels at home in Iran. 

This is the second time Pamuk is visiting Iran as he says that he takes pleasure from being in Tehran. Iranian publishers have previously released Pamuk’s works, the first of which came out 25 years ago. 

Qoqnus has published Persian versions of his “The White Castle” and “The New Life” with translations by Arsalan Fasih who is Pamuk’s favorite translator in Persian.

Fasih also translated “Cevdet Bey and His Sons” that was released by Nika Publishing House, which also published his “The Black Book”, translated by Einollah Gharib.

Pamuk’s “The Red Haired Woman”, “My Name Is Red”, “Secret Face”, “Istanbul: Memories and the City”, “Other Colors” and “A Strangeness in My Mind” have also been published in Persian.

He said that he wrote “The Black Book” under the influence of the Mantiq at-Tayr (The Conference of the Birds), the magnum opus of Iranian mystic and poet Attar Neyshaburi.

Due to its Iranian theme, “My Name Is Red” is viewed by the Iranian readers of his works as an Iranian story rather than a Turkish one, said Pamuk who won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Asked about the impact of the prize on his professional life, he said that his works had been published in 46 languages before he received the honor, but now his works have readers from 63 languages.

Like many other writers, he said that he wanted to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, but not at 54, and added that he expected to win the prize at 75 when he would have quit smoking to celebrate the win with a cigarette.       

He said that writing has changed into a difficult job after receiving the prize and noted that in his journeys to across the world, many people expect him to backbite the Nobel Prize, but he said that the Nobel Prize has been very good for his health and jokingly advised the journalists to get one.

Writers do not like their works to be abridged even if only one word is cut, Pamuk said after he was asked about the censorship of his books in Iran. He added that writers here are faced with the dilemma of choosing between the censorship of their works and putting them on ice.

Pamuk’s visit to Iran has been organized by Qoqnus. He is scheduled to pay a visit to the 31st Tehran International Book Fair and hold meetings with a number of Iranian writers and translators.

Photo: Turkey’s Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk attends a press conference at Tehran’s Niavaran Cultural Historical Palace on May 9, 2018. (ISNA/Hemmat Khahi)


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