Gündüz Vassaf's works transcend the limitations of genre. In a quest for freedom, his stories, essays and books weave philosophy, psychology and literature. In this influential and provocative book he deals with the psychology of totalitarianism in everyday life.
Totalitarianism is maintained through oppression and by the individual's acceptance of a limited state of freedom. Those who don't create their own freedoms choose to live with things as they are, limiting themselves to what the establishment offers - "this" or "that".
By directing our attention to the imprisoning nature of such a freedom, Gündüz Vassaf shows how totalitarianism receives its strength from us. We are prisoners of ourselves. In questioning our most basic assumptions he sides with night over day, hell against heaven, silence over speech, madness over reason; and in challenging our preconceptions, he defends traitors rather than heroism, disagreement rather than agreeing.
Written in English in 1987 when he was Guest Professor at Marburg University, and translated to Turkish for publication in 1992, the book has been a perennial "best seller" and profoundly influential in Turkey. Now, for the first time, it is published in the language in which it was originally written.
"Spokesman for our fantasies, freest spirit of our prose." - Orhan Pamuk-