The Artist of the Beautiful
My report on Harun Yahya for Seed magazine just went up. It is a small sketch—a longer discussion with more context is set for the March/April issue of Search magazine, inshallah, etc. This one narrows in on some of the minutiae of meeting Adnan Oktar (the man behind the Yahya name) and his friends, as well as the experience of working through his corpus. It is a kind of tortured relationship. On the one hand, the lousy science and the simplistic scapegoating for all the world’s problems disappoints me. Not to mention all the messy criminal charges, wherever the truth behind them may lie. On the other, Oktar has something beautiful in mind. He has a theory for everything and an incredible, original artistic sensibility to back it up. I am torn.
If this article accomplishes anything, it should be to get past the two kinds of commentary about Yahya that one normally sees in the West: a superficial overview with quotations from “both sides” and a triumphalistic put-down piece. Let me know if I’ve succeeded. Read it here.
tags: celebrity, design, orientalism, religion & science, skepticism, stories, utopia, writing