Orhan Pamuk

How to write masterclass: Novel laureate Orhan Pamuk in the moment

Leigh Turner
Leigh Turner

How to write Masterclass: Turkish author Orhan Pamuk is a worthy Nobel Prize winner.  When I met him, he blew me off my feet.

I had the good fortune recently to attend two events at which the famous Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk was present..How to write Masterclass Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk with British film director Grant Gee (Photo: Robert Pimm)

Two meetings with Orhan Pamuk

My first meeting with Orhan Pamuk was a dialogue between the author and the British film director Grant Gee, whose intriguing film Innocence of Memories explores Pamuk’s book, and museum project, The Museum of Innocence (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site).

The second was an event to mark the closing of the rather terrific !f Istanbul Film Festival.

How to write masterclass: live in the moment

What struck me about Orhan Pamuk was how 100% committed he was to the moment.  Talking to Grant Gee with an audience of several hundred people in an Istanbul cinema he was charismatic and lively for sixty minutes.  A day later, in the unpromising setting of a gathering of people in near darkness and loud music, he engaged constantly, talking about projects and ideas.

He never stopped working, thinking, exchanging ideas.

A masterclass in hard work and focus

All this struck me as a masterclass in hard work and focus.  Even if you are a Nobel laureate in literature and have sold 13 million books, you still cannot take anything for granted.

If, by contrast, you are an unpublished wannabee author, you should wonder; and learn.

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please subscribe to my weekly newsletter (you can unsubscribe anytime you wish).  Or I would be delighted if you would like to follow me on Facebook.  Or try a taste of my famous Hotel Stories.  You may also enjoy my piece How to write or the category Writing about writing.

P.P.S I was delighted to find that Grant Gee, like me, studied geography at university.  How the British education system connects to the world of work is a mystery; but connect it does.


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