tv Charlie Rose PBS December 28, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EST
>> charlie: welcomto the broadcas tonigh orhan amuk, nobel laureate, turkish iter tking about his w ovel. >> i write about humanity, but i came across humanity in a stumble, so that's what i know about humanit and indirectly, i, of course, write about a stumble but then, human character is more important than the city. that i also think about. i am a novelist as much as dostieva ski wte about st. persburg. dostoyevski wrote aut st.
peteburg. >> w hav dr. salam fayad pme minister othe palestinian authory. the two besteaders we can imagine hang there and we haven't en able t get the peace procs moving so one of the things i push for, sort of a benjamin franklin thought that if you build the enomy on t west bank and you bld up the civil cit and the institutions andou just create a dfacto state th good econom >> charlie: orhan pamuk, walter isaacson. ming up. >> charlie: nding for "charlie rose" has been provid by the following. ( screams ) you've had hand in giving colle scholarships... and support to thousands of ouration's... most promisingtudents. ♪ ( coca-cola 5-note mnenic )
captioningponsored by se communications from o studios in new york city, this is charlie se. ♪ >> crlie: orhan approximate pamuk ishere. he is turkey's best selling writ. he won the nel prize for literature in 2006. his novels ve beentranslated into morthan 50 language hi new book is called "the muum of innocence." it iset in his native city of tanbul which he's written about timend time ain. i am pleasedto have orhan muk ba at this table. welcome. >> goodnight. >> charlie: that's a wderful thing to say about that nobel
prize. >> i was very happ about it, and then they were really nice to me at stockholm, too, that i lt like ts who nobel swedh committee felt like good uncles pattinge and sing sweet thing for mywork. >> charlie: istanbul is n only the place you came from, t it is a character in your life. >>y life is spent instanbul. i am s -- i am, of course, obviousla writer of istanbu but en i'm noteliberately so sinc i have been askedo many times. istanbul is not my agenda. i write abou humanity but i came across humanity in a stumble. so that's what i kn about humani, and indirectly, of urse, write about istanbul but then humancharacter isore important than the city. that i als think about. that'm a novelist as much as
dostoyevsky wrote about s petersburg, joyce busyith blin, i am busy with istanbul but onin the end is busy with human life. human life makes cities -- >> charlie: are th stories t sa even though the ven is differt about human life? >> they change. fact, museum of innocence may be a good ample. this is anothelove story. >> charlie: s, indeed. >>en: but it's different. gabriel garcia mquez wro love. i write aays that human heart is t same everywhe so that's why w writers, when we write, i kn that i will be, if write it wl, of course, addressina reader in korea, or in vietnam
where i haveeaders but there ishe universal, eternal se of the human heart buthen there is the given histo, cultur weight ofhistory, repations, berty, and they e different --ultures are fferent. this i a love story, "museu of nocence" but it is love story in a culturewhere ma and woman do n come togetr so easi, that negotiation and -- of love is done tough more differen language -- let's cpare with say in america where there are parties, men and wom come togeth and it isegitimate and then peopl also are hpy to s couples are goi to see movies before marriage, whatever. where this is a country, a culture in 1970's sex outside of marriage is a taboo, is very troubled thing. sex before marriage and also i
related to th virginity is taboo. so thiis love in tt society, and i try to poi out tt in su a climate, although human heart is the same every place, refinement or commication through -- is commucation beeen lovers or negotiion of the love as well do actually, is done throh silence, raising of eyebrows, a whole set of gestures and things wherethe cuure also approves and it's a fined culture, but on the other hand, there is a taboo. there is a lack of communication of the lovs. there is a frustrationf not making an angry -- frustration of not making love, and tohat cultur this is 1970, the news of 1960's sex revoluon in west
or that sexual freedom or whatever is reaching so tha is -- we follow that clash in the story. >> charl: tell me about the three characters in "museum of innocence. >> kamal is an upper-class rich bo inheritor of rh business faly, lives in the ighborhood i snt all my life in, and i wrote out that. he comes from a richer family than my fami, my famy is inmparable buthe is not a very intellectl person. he is about toet married t a very suitable girl. >> charlie: he may not be an intellecal person but he reads orhan pamuk. >> he mes orha pamuk. then he is going to live the life that is expected of im. he fin a suitable girl.
in fact, it lookst the beginning of my novel, it reads li a pink barba cotn novel. >> crlie: we know the story, we know evything. >> i tell my friends, "don't pay attention first 50 pages. then it will be a different novel." thene, surprisingly, makes love witand falls in love with his twice-removed cousin, a stant relative of sor -- for fusun, w comes from the poor branch of e mily. >>harlie: she's 18 and he' 30. >> she's 18 and he's30,nd this is t too much at that time in turkey. you would have sd that's normal. that's not the point. the point is class difference and sexor virginity or sex fore marriage. he is an norable man. thisas a cultur of 1970's but stl the culte, we may talk
about at that fes obliged. he is reonsible for the fa ofhis girl becausehe lost her virginity, mor so,he also feels oiged. now you have tomarry. these are ises of highly repressive society, highly repressed sexually especially, the woman, sohe novel also tries -- i tried to exple -- the novel, i don't knowhat it does -- i tried to exore the issue of pretensions o occidentalization upper classes and the ight of story, culture, whatever we believe in, and these are daing issues. th story is -- e drama i abou tha anothe drama, of course, i that kemal, my character, who is
in some aspes i feelffinity to -- in ct is headily inlove but yes, this nov, besides being a rt of a picture of rkish society between 1974 to end of the last cenry is a picturef a man w is infatuated b ove. at one point in the story, my characteealizes that love -- his love pains of not seeing r enough, and i ink this is the gravest of all love pains -- you know, there are many signs to love pains. if he has object, something, a rec, a sign, a photo oreven a lighter or a salt shaker tha reminds him of their best times
then his love pn decreases, so he begins to collect objects that remind him of their best times, and this takes some eight years and in the end he has a collection converts this to exhibithe collection i a museum and the book we're reading is rt ofn annoted catalog of tha museum, but i n't want this to scare the readers. you can read this novel as a traditnal novel too. but e story is told thrgh objects whichremindn a oustian fashion the past. it's the idea of thatproust. we take something, o -- taste something,our tentaes are open, our doors of percepti are open and en the whole past cos back. let usimagine, m novel
suggests, th a whole museum of jects that give us the past. if you read the novel,hen you would wanto identify the jects which i hope to exhibit in the museum too. >> charl: do you have a museum of innocence? >> i am doing a musm of innocence architectally, butit doest legitimize the book. there may be readers of the book in korea, in america or in turkey who do no know that there is -there will be such a muse. you can enjoy the novel as ch. i am doing this, i hope to finish it in one or two years, at the end of the book tre is a ticket and you c visit the bookut i don't want the museum to overshadow the novel. >> charlie: w doou divide
your time betweennew yorkand istanb? >> every fallemester i teach at columbia unersity, humaties, that means four months in new york. i als spend fi or s months in istanbul. >> crlie: that's nine. >> then three months,or example, i was iuniversity at venice, so i go to another unersity or i go tohe place wheri write. >> charlie: what d you teach? >> i teach, in fa, about the subjects that want to write oks on. that i wanted to be painter in my life, at colbia univerty, for the st two years, i was teaching a course th my -- called picres and birdsbout history -- sort of a story of history of relionship between painng and literature. >> charlie: what a great course a great course. >> thank you. that we survey all the major texts, thesome literature,
then they were cald sister arts. >> crlie: yeah. >> especially, poetrnd painting because they -- ve the same, similar stiments. >> chaie: has art -- has painng more inuenced literature or lerature more influenc painting? >> i think they are intertwined. painting taught literature to describe. if you know how to se things, you knowhow to pick up details and make an integrated partf the story. let's remember th art of the novel we kno itoday is developed not earli than mid 19th century altugh "don quixote" was written at theend the 16th century, noflsz develod by stendhal, balzac,
leave aside dickens were heavily interest abo painting, wre books, were friendly wit painters and impressionm was about to be developed some 30, 20 years later an they ha learned and so many scholars arg that to describe things, t see things, notnly that, to se things as embls of huma trauma, human statues, class gend, also to see things as defining a pers's taste and finement. this is flaubert -- flaubert was also heavily interestein painting. patingprepared grounds for french- at least for ench realisc novel, and from there on itasglobal novel
novel todawas developed frenchnd british in mi 19th century and there was a lot of painting influence and the writers o did that heavy inflnced by painters >> charlie: is o novel recogniz as the first? endhal, balzac the first. for me, the first novel is "aa karenina >> charlie: why nna karenina"? it is the greatest novel. why do you want to read it again? you st want to rd itagain. just this fall, i ga norton leures at harvard university d these lectures you choose a subject d i choose the art of thnovel, and more an half of my examples are bed on nna karenina." wh it gives youhe feelg that, yes, lifes like that. when i was wring this bo, o
cour, i am sort of a heminay nd of competitivess i had was with "an karenina" -- that i think at every novel in the end should address thisasic ideafeeling, sentiment. "what lifelike?" literary novel should aress that. when we finish a novel, pu it by the side, we say, "is life like that?" i think life isike that or i did t notice life is le that." i think nove should address our basic sense of what are th values. is it frieship? is it history? is it culte? is it community? is it ethical commitmento an idea? or is it just happiness? at is happiness? i think old-fasoned novelsid that i think wehould continue to do that. this novel aspires to do those thin. >> charlie: doou believe that novels will tell you more about a culture than history will tell
you about culture? >> . i believe novelseach us details of a culture. some nels based on more fantasynd imaginatn. you cannot learn me about -- we cannotave realistic informatioabout a culture. but some novels, sayflaubert gives in "madamme bovary," tells so much about e french siety of mid 19th century, vels give us the period, but some novels do not choose to, say science fiction novels, most historical vels do not teachus about history, but give us mething about the period they are -- out the period they are written. i think novels in the end are based human experience. they convey tir eerience and evaluation of that expience should be e novel.
novels ao are democratic forms in the sense that you d't have to be an intellectual to join -- >> crlie: because it's a story. because it's a story -- no, along th being a story that they are bas on little daillife observations. what do we see in a novel? meone is dnking te lookinat my watch. anher guy is opening a light. and we see somethi from the window. >> crlie: and a novelist ha a gi that others don't to see thosthings andunderstand the context and significae of at isaily and ordina? >>en: a novelist shou have -- yes, in that ne, two talents. toee those things in such a way thathen he or she wris out the you say, "yes, that'sow coffee fee, that's how when you see the fresh morning breeze that's h it feels." the second thing pulls together all these little humane things
with life, light,verb,sounds, lors in such big organization that when you finish that organizatn, also embedded in a storyyou have a sense of life you say, "wl, that's my understanding of life too." proust -- so many novelist in fact, compared novels to cathedrals. that from this lite observion you make a cathedra that suggests somethgdeeper. thats the center of thenovel. the meaning of the novel. what the novelmplies. joyful, attractive thg about writing novelss that you don't have to be a professor, scholar, anything. you just pay attention to little details of human life, and the compose ese details in such a way with identifying with the heroes that you give such a dee understanding of life that can compete withhilosophy or region.
>> charlie: what skills you have now tt you didn't have 10 years ago other than youave mo experienc of iving? >> good. when i w writing my first novels, when i was 2 i was to be a painter and istopped painting and i said to my family -- upper middle class family in istanbul, i id "i'm going to be a novelist." they said "what? who is going to read your novels? you don't know anything about life." comingo your question, the wereimplying my family d my frnds, that novels arabout human exrience. when i finished this nove i al said -- after35 years, at th time, said, "well, no, novels are about literature. about kafka, ckett. you have to be experimenta kafka didn't live anythi. he was jt working in insurance office. novels suld not befull of life. now 35 years later, i think at now i agree that perhaps because
i have le experience that novels should beull of a sens of life, butin order to be able say it you have to be over 55 like . >> charlie: yowrite in what language? >> i write in, of course, turkish. >> charlie: you handwrite it? >> i andwrite in turkish. >> charl: you don't write from a computer >> no when t computers and all that started, it was too te for me. and so, i ite slowly and it's ok. i am happy, ion't want to see a comput in front of me all day. >> charlie: why does it take eight years? >> wting was about five years. i'm a slow writer. >> charlie: wring was five yes? >> yes >> chaie: the book has 500-pl pages. >> i'm a slow writer i'm happ about it. >> crlie: happy about ? >> yeah. >> charlie: meaning u prefer it tt way? >> yes. this is eighth novel. i sometimes ask myself, "the greate novelists, dostoyevsky"
how many novels? fivenot 10, 5, 20, don't want tgo more than that, also my novels are long. i write a lot and i like taking my time. >> charlie: do you wt to get to the end and then go back? or do you -- >> yes, i sometimes write the ending, sometimes write the middle chapters. i chapter a novel then jump arou. when i stuck -- i dot have writer's block. when i'm stu in a chapter, i skip to another chapter and contue that way. >> charlie: what causes wrer's block? >> i think an anxiy. too mu anxiety about mething. another thing that not knowing what will hapn in the next chapter in the story. alsoack of self confidence, perhaps. >> charlie: have you felt it seriouy? >>ometimes, but not -- >> charlie: you go to the ne chapter? >> yes. i haveearnedays too bypa it. for me, writer's blocks about
not knowin what to do in the next chapter, but if there a apter that you want to wte lot, just skip to it and continue. then y will return back. >> charlie: some people e very goodt dialog, some people are good at creating cracters, some people are good naative. are you od at all of them? how would you write them in terms of your own core competce? >> i like wring gooddialogue, but writing tomuch metimes seemto me betraying. that novels shld not be too -- based on too muc dialogue. that is a play. i like sing theuman sentiment, emotio with objects that surround that person. want to give -- th one sentence, with one bru -- movement of a ush both the emotion and th objectnvelope in one sentence. that's my inspiratio i arg that the object that surround us in novel should
also repsent our emotions. that when we are sad we look out of the window, we should see a bit of a melancholic cloudy sky. there should be a crespondence withhe objects that surround the characr and the drama and the good wter sees the object that fits the emotion of the character. >> charlie: you still pat? >> i quit painting for 35 years and began painting in the last two years again. >> charlie: tell me what happed. i'm just there. and i -- i was rsed to be a painter beeen the ages of seven and 22. charlie: raised by your parent >> i would say i just developed it by my own but come from a family ofivil engineers. myrandfather was a civil engier. my father an uncles were. andhen they also saidou can be a painter but why don't you go to school of architecture where your grandfather and uncles wento udy." >> chaie: you went to
aritectural sool. >> then opped -- with the intentioof being a painter a architect. but then suddenly i stopped all ofthis, dropped out of architectal school and stopped painti and began -- architectural school a stopped painting and began writing novels. how i felthen we painted i wrote "my ne isred" to remember all t joys of painting. then continued theast two years, again, i picked up brush and pen -- >> charliewhy did you pick it up after 3 ears? >> i don't know. in fact, was in front a statnary. i didn't have -- so i just walked iand bought all the colors. all in my chdhood, my aun loved and use to bringe colors and paintings. ielt like a child. of course, i am a amate, but it is a good way ofhinking abt these issues of
relationsh between painting and literature, painting and seng, narrating a story, true objects -- i am, i thi, a visual writer. at is to say, tolstoynd nabokov enjoy the tr pictures whil dostoevsky, it i intense but we don't member what wa in that room where dmri a aliosa spoke, when you enter a tolstoy roomyou remember the objects. you remember the color of the room, or some sensaon or something from the room. i think i am thatind of -- >>harlie: whether it was dark or lht. >>yes. me sense of a breeze comes in thosvisual authors see the worl in a more lighter -- when he was teaching russian literature at cornelli think, nabokov used to give ts exame.
he would ge this is chekhov, is is dostoevsky, he woul openhe blinds a say, "this is tolstoy." >> charlie:ow much of this novel is biographical? >> queion i havbeen asked in turkey. it is about a man's infaation with h love pains a, of course, l the woman rears i have met in turke ask, and, course, i taht this -- i have been asked thisso many time al auths, of cour, all their lives have bee asked are yoyour character >> charlie: e answer is always the same. "a part of me is every character that iver reated." >> but since this asked so much ihought about this and in fact i argued that t nature of the vel -- this a is such that even if sayt's not me,
it's fictional characte eply in my heart, i want t reader to believe that it's me, becae writing novels i seduci the reader in such a y that he or sh the reader, is constantly asking himself, herself,"did heive ts detail? ishis autobiogrhical? ors he or she the wter so eative that henvented it? >> charl: theeader wld ve that dlogue with themselves. >> yes. >> charl: "did they live this or is th a enius?" >> if we read novels, we a that. is this a political novel, a business novel, anytng -- a ice of life is introduce and we ask ourselves, "is this fantasy? or is reaty likeis?" that's why we y and read. we don't want jonalistic thing.
we want a cative writer take on reality. that's w we read nove and we also trust theriter because he chooses the best par of realit to represent the cathedral, imply what it's all about so we alwaysask and en there iso answer to that, even if içóay "nabokov said my books e ntasies, they a fairy tails," theris so much reality in them, and then wecannot make a stinction, even the write says, "no, i am not kemal, i never fell in loveike that, it's embarrassing," which is true, but i don'tant the reader to acknowlee this truth -- >> crlie: it's true that u never felln love like this. >> i fell in love but not as much athis. >> charlie: are you jealous of him beuse you never fell in love tt much? >> no. >> charlie: wodn't it be good to fall in love that ch? even though it h a -- negative consequences for him or rected
-- i identify with my charaer because loveade him ope to pay attention to his boved. >> chaie: exactly. >> i would -- i wouldike to be likehim, paying so much attention human -- her human begs. deeply, in this nol -- deep below is my identification with the character in t ways. one is his infatuation with his beloved, the rl, is so deep that h pay attention t her everything i think novels are paying atntion to human beings first. their gestures. their lence. th way she skes a cigarette. the way she turns her garette. the way she gets angry. the way shesays thisr th. that is very humane. and th is what is writing novels about. not only other human beings, also nure, since ts i identify with my character. the other thing is more
litical, perhaps, is this. that mycharacter, kemal, who comefrom upper middle -- from the westernid neighbors of istanbul. >> charlie: very secular. >>ery secul. is me or less -- altugh much, ch richer guy, is ven a happy life a poor country turkey in1970'sut this or that happens in his fe, and he is out of that community life. th i was giving als-- i could havbeen an architect or whatever, and then would hav led ammunnitarrian middle class bourois life in isnbul. this and tt happened. i did not fall i love with fusun, iell in love with writing novels >> charlieif you have a passn for something -- to
write, to paint, to perfor whatever -- does that restrict, because 's seldirected, your capacity to have theind of feelings that kemal has for -- >> yes. i agree. very good question. >> charlie: u can't love as well as someone who esn't have the passion forork that you have. >>hat in the d, i would say this love isoo much. i'm not writin for six months. let me overcome it. i would do that. i am tt kind ofperson. >> charlie: you kn that for a fact? >> yes, i can say th. >> charl: because you are -- the driving for in your life is- >> yes. >> charlie: anyou will let noing get in the way ofit. >> things get ithe way, b after a while i compose myself. in that sense, i'm not kemal. >> charlie: slap yourlf? wake up? >>yes. i do that. >> charlie: part of that because you think at you -- for whatever combinion of
reasons, h a gif 'sdestined and born? you won a nobel prize. >> i don't think in that lines. in the end, maybe people will think th i'm destined and born to write many books, but in the end -- >> charliethat is enough. >> but more importt, is that i am more haper wheni'm doin this, when i'mriting a novel. yes, le makes us happy, this and that. in the end, it is more a feeng of security and solidarty and enjoyment of sex for me while -- charlie: go ahead. >> i said it, that in the end love is feelingf secuty, enjoymt ofife and sex, re or less,hile this is -- novels is a deeper thing, almost a relion for me, that -- when i ach inside a nel and writing and happy with it, it is t greatest happiness for me and i thk i -- there are so many
people o there who sense it. that's why they readour novels. >>harlie: because they know u have that kind of -- >>eah, you have that- you have tt kind of -- >> charl: drive? motivation. >> charlie: motivatn and driv >> in the end,ou make cathral and i suggests such -- and is made of such little things sh as answering a phone and opening a door and saying something silly, then wh these deils you make such a big construcon, which suggests things - secular things at can onl -- religion can imply. >> charlie: the ultimate aphrodisiac r you. >> yes. >> charlie henry kissinger once sa famously ower is the ultimate aphrodisiac." the ultima aphrodisiac for you is her >> i le that. once youave it, you also wt to be happy in life. >> charlie: analso, in fact yoareoing somethi along vels of excellence and there
is a response --ñi your case, buying ts book --hen itçó empowers you as a -- i think as a human being. it makes you more real. more open. more- >> also re responsible. that i feel obliged that i write my books even re carefully, i haveo many readers i have to be careful, ishould not steal their ti, i cannot b messyon th or hat, i have to be ver caful revising and revising d revising, that is how i stroly feel. i don't nt to be embarrassed. >> charlie: and the id that you haveisappointed your readers woulbe a terrible pain. >> yes. not in fact, it uld more painful by being disappointed by a critic than i knñi that those pages are d or i'm not happy about it. i won't let th happen.
>> charliecan >>harlie: can you imagine doing anytng else now? >> no, i'm happy ing at columbia. >> charlie: did the nel prize change anything? >> it made me a busier man. more responsib man. but i did not get it in late life i get it early. so it's not a retement pension for me, it made me even more ambitious. >> charlie: real? how so? i just want to write these five novels i have in mind and i want to write them well. that kind of ing. ñr >> charlie: how man have you written? you have had five novels-ñi >> i wrote eightnovels. "meum of innocence" i my eighth novel but i hav -- i am planning for anoer five novels. i hope i can -- >> charlie: another ve. >> yes. >> crlie: and you know the esseial subject matter. >> yes. >> charlie: essential. >> ye essential, i definitel ow. >> charlie: u have a loven$r books to >> yes. >> charlie: you collect. >> uh-huh. >> chaie: you know. but i'm not a collecto i have 16,000ooks in istanbul.
charlie: that's a collector, to me. you don't collect first editions? >> nothat kind of ing. in fact, aollector of bks is a person whoever reads that book. thank god i am reading them. i buy books essentily because in my youth, there wereno librars in istanbul but i waed to educate myself. i bought a lot bos. i still buy book and send them back to istanbul thinking that turkey -- istanbuis mycountry because i am stillending my bookthere. >> charlie: let'talk about turkey today. as you ow, i ju intervied the prime nister of turkey and i spoke t you about this -- i don't want toñr kn whether you believe this o not. >> there is the islamic world of 1.5 biion people and turkey between this world and thatçó wod could be an important bridge as a democracñi secular state respecting theñi rule law. and turkey is the country tt is best pced to do that.
>> charlie: is he righ >> he may right but then he is a diploma he ia politician. >> charlie: so? >> my point isometimes they sa "mr. pamuk, i am not aspiring to that rol" since they ask me th kindf questi, is your work a bridge between ea and we?" no, no. that is his job. >> charlie: syst job is to -- toake the case for turkey to be tha bridge. >> yes. he also he argues to say i amera, in europe, "i can be a good brie for you," he als arguings tay ira in middle east "i can be a good idge for you to make pce with amica," this or th. i think if it wks, it's worked whether it's wking o not, that's also problematical. >> charl: what is the essential confct inturkey? >> there a two conflicts. one is now -- the conflict beeen kurdish people
kurdish who are demanding more cultural languag-- whatever rights, and escalating to political rightsnd- >> charl: the central government. >>he central government who has a fearf that and doesn't know how to deal witht in more liberal, soft way. at is alshe problem is here central aditional governments, hawkish attitude rather than n developing a st, liberal attide. that's oneroblemn tuey. unfortunately woulcontinue to be pblem if the tonight know hoto approh it in a soft -- if theyon't know how to approach it in softway. the other ithe so-called fight betwee secularists a so-calleislamists. ñi but this is fight that's bn goinonn tury for the last 200 years. it's changing ces, verbs, and this is -- ts started as turkeyegin to develop its occidentalization,
westnization project, this problem started. >> charlie: go bac to the time of atturk. is it mo secular today or less secular day? >> now, it depends onyour understanding of seculism. i think that turkey is definitely a secul country. the fact that there is a party in power wi th leaders of thatarty used t call themselves islists 10 year ago do not cnge the picture ch. that tus, secularism project worked what doesn't work is mocracy. human rights free eech. these e the problems -- >> charlie: why doesn't it work? partly it is - you felt the burden you felt the sharp ed. >>partly, i really thi that it's not because of the political agenda, it's that the
ruli elite, some parts of the army, bureaucra is very conservative and very, would say, authoritarian. >> charlie: feful of what? >> fearful of -- fearful of, unfortunately, mocracy. >> charl: what do they fear democracy will do? will turn it intotheocracy or somethg? >> no,çó but they say so, but i don't think -- charlie: they don't really fear that, theyust use that, theyay "the islamists are coming, we've go to stop them"? >> ye that's the pretext, think, unrtunately somef it that turkish bureaucracy. some parts of the army have some privileges. theyon't want to lose it. charlie: worry about that - >> they are also upset about t negotiatinwith european union cause the consequences of which they may lose se of theiprivileges. >> charlie: in ordero be acceptab to the europea union, certain changesill have to be de suggesting you have
met the standards for >> these are things that the old establishment -- some parts of e rmy, bureaucracy, legal bureauacy, are resisting. in the end, cuurally, i fee close them because they e more, quote, wternized, but thr tubles -- thereby, their authoritarianism, their tolerance, byot aressing the free speech, byot paying respects to, in fact pples of turkey's roots -- t problem, another problem of -- eternal problem of turkey is that secularists and --ostof them are ce people -- do not he ch respect for mocracy, ople's worlds, huma( rights. >> charlie: ishere a political novel in you? >> the is a desire to it
but i am holding myself. i aeady wte "snow." i don't want tbe a controversl writer. i wanto write what i plan in these five novels. >> charlie: also, "istbul," "snow," "t white cast," the blacbook," "the new life thank u for coming. >> thank you very much, charlie. grt to see you. >> charlie: walter isason was chairman and e.o. of cnn and managing editor of "time" magazine. his books about albert einstei an benjamin franklinere best sells: he brings us a collecon of essays. it is calledmerican sketches grt leaders, eative thinkers and heroes of a urricane. i am pleaseto have him back at
this table. weome. heroes of a hurricane comes from -- >> new orleans. i grew up in w orleans and i ve always beennterested in creativity, it's that edgy mix in new orleans you have hafor a couple of centuries what i thk makes it a partly creative townnd i was worried that after the rricane it wouldn't come back that way but it has. there e a lot of good peopl have hped new orleans come back. >> charl: in the introduction there is a notion fr your ughter bets at harvard university, and she ys, and you write about her, you say "my dauger once pointed out obvious that i wrooth about franin i was writing about an idealized versioabout myself. wh about einstein? that she saii was writing about my father. a distracted, humanistic engineer. einstein was his hero as my father had been mine. at tt point i asked my daughter what she thought i was dog when i wrote aut kissinger. that's easy, she sd, "you were writing about your dark side." you've got two chapters here right?
>> uh-h. onkissinger? >> charlie: yes. >> youknow, kissinger -- ssinger is one ofhe most brilliant people in undetanding balance-ofower diplomacy and onof the things i look at isow being really smart has s limitations sometime and i never thought he had the perfect fingertip fee for america's values thatllows you toe open in conducting foign policy in adiplomacy -- i mean foreign picy in a democracbut i will say that one ofhe essays i there is a new introducon i did to the biography of him a aer the second bush administration i was yearning for little bit more realism and i thought it wou be good toave a lite bit more of that kissinger realism back instead of that moral crusading th we found in the bush administrion. >> charlie: who are e other creativethinkers? >> i do einstein, of course. and benjamin frklin, my two favotes. >> charliewe see them on the cover. together. >> and i actually --alker percy one you wouldn't recognize -- you would recognize but some of your viewers wld
not the bottom left but when i was growing up, i was about 12 or 13 years old, we use to go fishing across from n orleans and we wonred what ann's dad did. people called him dr. percy b he didn't practe medicine. we kept saying, "ann, what does your dad do?" she said "he's a writer." after a whilehen uncle walker came out with "the movgoer" i realized tt being a writer was like being a doctor, fisherman engineer, mething you could be wheyou grew upo i tried learn at h feet becausehe was suchn elent writer with a wonderful sensofhumor. charlie: creative thinkers include people le bl gates? >> bill gates -- i had a nderful time when i was editor of time and tried to get out fr behind the desk and tried to do stories on my ow had a wonderfu time speing some weeks wi him and he's creative but more importantlyhe can sort of see where thingsare going. he understood most fundamental of all thingshich is that
moore's law which ss that the microchip wi double in speed and halve in price every 18 mont or so meantthat you shou build software that tri to drive erything -- that wonderfulrograms from word to -- you know, spreadsheets so he ok advantage of that. will say, however, that the truly creative person in that field is steve job he kps reinventing industry after industry by imagining things other peoe don't imagine. so i think steve job happens be a littlbit more imaginative than anybody else in the industry. charlie: you wrote a column that's in the upcoming "time" magazine about isrl and the unitedtates policy. what'she question there? for y? >> i thi that we've sort of uandered this oppounity of having dr. salam fayad as the prime minist of the palestinianuthor and -- palestinn authority and mahmoud abbas,he two best
leaders there and we haven't en able to gethe peace process moving, one of the things i push for, sort o a benjamin franklin thout which is thatf you build up the economy on the west ba and you build up the civil society and the institutions d you create a de fact state with a gd econy -- we've had 7% g.d.p. owth rate in the palestinian west bank this year, so you could make a ver stable ciety, and israelnce had it as well because it's in israel's interestso you do that instead of bickering overight of return and oerheological issues, do a ragmatic, st-by-step approach from the ground upcreating a de facto peace. >> charlie: i don't know why israel wouldn't in supporof that. they want to see a very stab, functioninsociety alongside -- not sociy that is in nflict. >> exactly, and ever since you have had the growing palestinian economy you ha had a pretty secure west bank. one of the big tngs that didn't happen this year was when israel invaded gaza, the west
bank did not ept. stayed ca. why? because u had hope. you d good economy. you had great paltinian security. good leadership. let's build on that. let's build uphis economy. >> charlie: what makes you think the obama administration is t dog that? >> it sort of is -- senor mitchell uerstands that and senator mitchl has some good people worng for him wh are trying to do itbut i'm talking about making a big, public ph push -- i'm talking about getting althe people who have been on this show wo run cisco and intelnd -- yo know -- >> charlie: crosoft. >> yeah, microso and -- >> chaie: google. >> all of them, google and saying, ome on, put se engineering jobs, pusome job centerin the west bank, put some technology training centers" and you could do a public-private partnership, something that condi ricend bush tri to do -- and i think it wld be a much more public d visible way to build up the onomy there. >> charlie:hen youhink of yourself, do u think of yourself as a journalist or a biographe >> well you know, one the other thingsy daughter once said iwhen i g asked to do
something lled "the writing life in "t washington post" she said, "dad, you're not a real writer, u're just a journalist and a biogpher," and to that i pad guilty. to that i plead guilty. "time" magazine, the oldçóenry luce "the historyof our time through the people that made it" we wanteto write narrative history so i nowhink of myself more as a narrative biographer, amateur historian. i'm not an academic. >> charlie: it took 11 years. he had to learn some physics and math. i wanted to -- math and physics are kind of fun but it takes a while to learn them. >> charlie: does thatean in your curre mission to write a biogphy of louis armrong you are gog to learn some sic? >> i p clarinet ani have had play jazz and i used to ay with people who pyed with armstrong. >> charlie: you used tplay wi people who used play
with armstrong? >> george ewis, percy humpey, down inew orleans, i'malking about sittingt eir feet and you would hear t louis armstron story, i know "westin blues," "rampart reet parade" i've got other books i'm juggling becau there is so mu i would like to do. >> charlie: when you loo at greatness, are peoplewho in a time oxtraordinary challenge respond with crage as they did in new orleans? >> uh-huh. uhuh. >> charlie: at's the common link? >> i think e common li is believinyoure part of someing larger than yourselves. what makes somebody n into the burning building, r back while the flood waters are still ther scott cowan who raun to tulane, making re tulane was engine that brought t city of new leans back -- the common link is that they'rnot st thinking about emselves. secondly, it's an ability to ink out of the box -- mean, einstein was not the most knowledgeable physicis in1905, codn'ten get a job at a university but there he as a pant clerk thinking if you try
to synchronize clocks, he was looking patent applications for synchronizing clocks, he said the clocks wouldn' look as synchronous and he camep with the meal leap "time is different pending on you state of motion" those types of aginative leaps that don co from rote lening, that to me is the most interesting for ofimaginatn." >> charlie: what was the ughest? >> theclintons, of course, the two them -- bill clton we'rgoing to be wrestlg with century from now simply beuse he had such gre promise, there was also lack of discipline, understandi his adminiration, whether it was a great esidency or not -- in so ways the answer is yes to both -- secondly, ronaldreagan -- first person ever cover for "time" magazin there are a lot chapters in there out reagan,nd reagan d gorbachev, even his biographer, edmund morris had row up his hands a say "i don't ow what went on inse
of h head" but i tried to caure in there at lst the bondinhe did with gorbachev and that fixed vision, but like a lot of peopl with a fixed vision he was able compromise. did what benjin franklin said which was hold true to your principles but try to find common ground. whether it was with gorbachev or tip o'nel, ronald reagan h an optimism that a4r50ud him t work together but i still find him a bit of an emig na. >> charlie: we talk at this tablin thinkingbout this conversation a the connected tissue of who people are a what they do. witness this. herald edmd who was here the other night. >> gave my first job. >> charlie: gaveou your first b at "theunday times" as rhodes scholar write afterwards? >> i would neverotten the rhodes schar unlesshe got me a job. they likebylines in brish wspapers. they tnk you're cool. that's the only ason i got the scholarshi >> charlie: ke letter was he e other night taing about stevjobs as the ultimate creative force. >> absolutely.
that's whai said. i think eve jobs, if you look at first cating the great personalcomputerthen the macintosh, then the ipod, transforming the music industry, then theiphone which takes your cell pho and mes it into sothing totally different and i hope -- i surely hope that someday there will ban itab so people will get writing and journalism and video a your showand pay9 cents for them an will get back to the notion that you should -- 's easy to pay for content. >> charlie: you ould pay for coent. >> youhould pay for content. otherwise you' never going to get people like you and me producing the content. >> crlie: walter isaacson, thank you for joi us. see you next time. captioning spoored by roseommunications ptioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org