Articles by Kaya Genç

October 26, 2016

Our Great Contrarian: On Turkish Humor Writer Aziz Nesin 0

The torching of the hotel was seen as a violent reaction to Nesin’s marginal publishing activities — at least this was what we were instructed to think by the Turkish media. From the flames that covered the facade of the hotel, Nesin had emerged rather miraculously, like some kind of supernatural figure.

May 10, 2016

Here’s to the Cowardly Ones: On Dmitri Shostakovich and Emotional Rebellion 11

If Shostakovich succumbed to power, it was in an effort to leave the world with beauty that cannot be marred by power.

September 24, 2013

The Heart of My Life, the Life of My Heart 0

Not all books can make us cry and those that do are often so shamefully sentimental that we can’t easily admit to reading them, let alone crying with them. This, however, is not the case with Julian Barnes’s Levels of Life, a novella-length text in three chapters, which produces in its reader tears of the most literary kind.

July 12, 2013

My Little Library in Anatolia 3

Although the books were old and deep in hibernation, the people who came to read them were very much alive. So in my small library in a distant Anatolian town I learned an awful lot about what young Turkish men enjoyed reading under the gun. I watched them as they read for relief. I watched them as they read for pleasure. I watched them as they read for keeping sane.

June 14, 2012

Mario Vargas Llosa and the Heart of Roger Casement 2

Vargas Llosa leaves the question, which kept many Conrad and Casement biographers busy, unanswered. Being both outsiders of the British establishment, how could these two men have differed so dramatically at the time of Casement’s trial in 1916?

January 9, 2012

Orhan Pamuk’s Unlikely New Role  0

Turkish media’s attempts to trivialize dissidents by focusing on their private lives has a touch of the News of the World scandal about it.