Cynthia Ozick Articles


Understanding Terror

Depravity is a choice.
Dec 21, 2015

On a New Yorker panel nearly a dozen years ago, in the wake of the publication of his novel Snow, Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk set forth an emphatic credo. "Our moral duty," he said, "is to pay attention to the humanity of everybody." And since the subject of the panel was "Literature and Politics," this comment was altogether in keeping with Pamuk's remarks elsewhere, on the responsibility of the novelist: "I strongly feel that the art of the novel is based on the human capacity, though it is a limited capacity, to be able to identify with the 'other.' .  .  . It requires imagination, a sort of morality, a self-imposed goal of understanding this person who is different from us.

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