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.”


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pp. 633-651
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