The Orpheus Double Bind is the English translation of 'Orpheus Çıkmazı,' a chapter in the book Sessizin Payı (The Share of the Silent, Metis Yayınları, 2015) by the literary critic Nurdan Gürbilek. This book was published as part of  bewitched, bewildered, bothered, Banu Cennetoğlu’s artistic intervention for Asia Art Archive’s exhibition Portals, Stories, and Other Journeys, curated by Michelle Wong and on view at Tai Kwun Contemporary from 23 April to 1 August 2021. Translated by Victoria Rowe Holbrook, the chapter draws on the tension between Orpheus’s belief and doubt to recover his wife Eurydice, and literature’s desire and repeated attempts to speak on behalf of the silent or the lost. In the text, Gürbilek weaves references and stories related to philosophers such as Maurice Blanchot and Marc Nichanian, as well as authors such as J. M. Coetzee, Jean Améry, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, and Bilge Karasu. She asks: what does writing save? How does the author question their authority to give voice to the dead? The publication is designed by Esen Karol.

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The Orpheus Double Bind: What Can Writing Save?
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The Orpheus Double Bind: What Can Writing Save?