What Keeps Orhan Pamuk Up at Night

Novelist
A gnawing habit of sense-criticism and anxiety over authenticity keep the Nobel Prize winner up at night.
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TRANSCRIPT

Question: What keeps you up at night?

Orhan Pamuk: That...is it beautiful? Is it good enough? Is that chapter good? Now, unfortunately, will the museum be good enough? Is it good? It's always the idea that -- it's self-criticism worries me. Most of the time, and I mean... is it good enough? Is it interesting enough? Am I addressing -- am I telling the truth? Am I authentic, or am I posing? This kind of thing upsets me. I'm very worried about being pretentious or inauthentic, or just writing for the sake of writing. So I am also a dreadful maniac; I write all the time. Whenever I have a nervousness or tension, I pull out a notebook and write some things in it. I like that, and it calms me down. Sometimes I draw, sometimes I write, and that makes me happy.