GRADS IN THE NEWS
Herkül Millas was presented the 50th Orhan Kemal Novel Award for his work Aile Mezarı (The Family Grave, Doğan Kitap). The RCQ asked Millas where this novel fits within his oeuvre: “According to neuroscientists special parts of our brain process the received data differently: some work on a base of critical thinking (logic) and others emotionally. On the other hand, we know that human beings are emotional to a great extent. I learned these by simply reading about these issues, but I always suspected that there are things that cannot be communicated by simply expressing facts and that there are feelings that can be presented only by arts and literature.
“Literary texts create images, mostly imaginary, that are directly addressed to our emotional world. At a certain stage of my life I felt the need to express these feelings that academic and scientific articles cannot. The Family Grave is the result, and I am happy that I managed to communicate with my readers. I perceive the Orhan Kemal Novel Award as a sign of a fruitful communication. The novel is about my world, naturally the way I experienced and I felt it.”
Millas views the role of RC in his life as determinant: “I joined this school as a young boy and left it when I graduated as an engineer and a married man. These are the most critical years of the formation of one’s character. RC is a heritage; beyond of a recognition or a negation of it. It is there, like the feelings that dominate us beyond our critical thinking. The greater influence of RC on me was my teachers, but even more importantly, my friends of that schooling period. They helped my integration to the wider community, keeping me safe as a member of a closed community, like the one I describe in The Family Grave.
Published August 2021