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14 April 2008


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I was also struck by the humour and lightness Perihan Magden used when talking about the situation in Turkey. Her monologue was incredibly powerful for it. And her adept use of metaphor reminded me how useful metaphor is in keeping a reader's or listener's ear, however heavy the subject.

She likened Turkey's censors to headmasters ("that's their joy in life -- they feel like they are headmasters who came to Turkey to punish us") and junkies ("it's like a junkie thrashing their head on the wall; they don't want to give up their junk". Especially effective since the metaphors were double-edged swords: poking fun while also taking a serious swipe at a dangerous foe.

Interestingly she noted that the protectors of "Turkishness" also understand the power of wordplay, as they've twisted "genocide" into "exile" -- "We just exiled the Armenians."

Are the power, the danger and the delight of words more tangled up than we tend to think?

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