Those outside the scene: Snow in the world republic of letters

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Abstract

This article intervenes in both national and transnational critical discourses on the work of the Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, performing a close reading of Pamuk's controversial 2002 novel Snow, dismissed by critics in Turkey as a "blunder" and celebrated by the Swedish Academy as "a geological core sample of all levels of Turkish society." Neither a guide to a new secular politics, nor a verisimilar portrait of Turkey as it really is, I will argue, Snow is best understood as posing a problematic of representation and recognition - hearing, giving, or appropriating a voice, or refusing to speak - in a mass-mediated transnational context. I argue that any reading of Snow properly sensitive to its narratorial implied author's investments in a transnational literary market must grapple with the novel's internal projective figuration of transnational readership, and that such a reading necessarily brings with it a sense of the real limits - which is not to say the impossibility, or the disvalue - of critical discourse on "world literature.".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-651
Number of pages19
JournalNew Literary History
Volume41
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Literature and Literary Theory

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