"Contrary to what most people assume, one's politics as a novelist have nothing to do with the societies, parties and groups to which one might belong, or even dedication to any political cause. A novelist's politics arise from his imagination -- his ability to imagine himself as someone else. [This] makes him a spokesman for those who cannot speak for themselves, whose anger is never heard and whose words are suppressed."
Turkish novelist and 2006 Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk spoke yesterday at Georgetown University, where he received an honorary degree on what happened to be the 84th birthday of the Turkish Republic. Pamuk spoke of the "literary globalization of the world", describing how a novelist's imagination -- "when employed to evoke 'the other, the stranger, the enemy that resonates inside each of our heads' -- can be a powerful, liberating force."
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