Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I am almost done with the book "Snow" which is set in the middle of a struggle between the Islamists and secularists in Turkey. One of the things that really struck me about this book is that it portrays how a society can be polarized where you have to choose sides and where people make up their mind about an idealized position and then are forced by society to adhere to this non-realistic position. Example: if you decide that you are a Democrat, you also by default are forced to be non-religious, because if you are religious, you have to be against Democrats.

All in all, it is a good book, although it is written in a very interesting style. I can't quite put my finger on it. Part of it is that it reads like 19th century Russian novels by Tolstoy and Chechov. Part of it seems to be a cultural difference between East and West where things feel unnatural to me, although they may seem totally normal to a Turk.


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