Orhan Pamuk: İstanbul Hatıralar ve Şehir



Nt He needed to buy a house for his future heroine F sun During the 1990s Pamuk visited hundreds of properties trying to imagine F sun and her parents living in them It was beyond his means to purchase a whole building in Ni anta i the posh neighbourhood inhabited by Kemal the hero of the novel He could afford a single floor in a stone building in the old Ottoman commercial centre of Galata but then the remodelling would be difficultFor the next ten years writing and shopping proceeded in a dialectical relationship Pamuk would buy objects that caught his eye and wait for the novel to swallow them demanding in the process the purchase of further objects Occasionally an object refused to be swallowed as happened with some carriage lanterns and an old as meter Pamuk published The Museum of Innocence in 2008 It resembles less a museum catalogue than a 600 page audio uide A ticket printed in the back of each copy rants one free entry to the museum By that point he had already acuired nearly all of F sun s belongings so the museum could in theory have opened the next day But Pamuk was worried about the example of Edouard Dujardin the French writer sometimes credited with pioneering in a largely forgotten text called Les Lauriers sont coup s the stream of consciousness Pamuk didn t want to be Dujardin He wanted to be Joyce It wasn t enough just to build the world s first synergetic novel museum The museum had to be a thing of beauty He hired a team of artists and curators and worked full time in the museum for several months taking naps on Kemal s bed in the attichttpwwwlrbcoukv34n11elif bat Major part of the book describes what some poets journalists and painters have written or painted about Istanbul during 19th centuryBut when I picked this one up after reading My Name is Red the expectation was to know how Pamuk describes Istanbul and his life in that city not what some 19th century unknown travellers and century old journalists with difficult names to pronounce had to say There were some interesting chapters but we do not buy a highly priced book printed on uality paper packaged with a lovely cover and praised by many internationally acclaimed news papers only to read few chaptersIf you have not read Pamuk s works yet recommend to read his other works before Istanbul Or you may overlook some reat works of a master It is just lucky that I happened to read Menocal s Ornament of the World just before this as it perfectly prepared me for the psychological labyrinth that is this book It introduced me to a beautiful helpful image for Pamuk s creation the memory palaces and memory ardens This is not an introduction to Istanbul it is a B 79% Good Notes An effective inviting blend of history and memoir Though the word melancholy is overused to the point of clich. Wning of his self consciousness to the writers and painters–both Turkish and foreign–who would shape his consciousness of his city Like Joyce’s Dublin and Borges’ Buenos Aires Pamuk’s Istanbul is a triumphant encounter of place and sensibility beautifully written and immensely movin.

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Es uickly alas than the human heart My favorite sections of the book were those devoted to Istanbul writers Kemal and Tanpinar had two interesting associates bachelor fl neurs like themselves the Proust like recluse Abd lhak inasi Hisar and the historian Re at Ekrem Ko u compiler of the lurid and idiosyncratic Istanbul Encyclopedia its entries on Ottoman torture devices and techniues thrilled young Orhan who lived alone amid ceiling high piles of nineteenth century newspapers and archival scraps I love the image of a coterie of urban dreamers engrossed by a city people for whom the layered landscape of their 2500 year old home is a complete cosmos the inexhaustible round for diverse passions creative and curatorial novelistic and antiuarian sexual architectural philosophical I think of Joseph Cornell reading Mallarm after a day rummaging in New York City s junk shops Pamuk is of course one of these writers I was deeply impressed to read that the composition of his latest novel The Museum of Innocence was preceded by two decades of collecting hundreds of objects that would belong to the characters and figure in the book And then he opened a real museum to display the collection Elif Batuman in the London Review of BooksThe inspiration for the Museum of Innocence came to Pamuk in 1982 while he was having dinner with the last prince of the Ottoman dynasty Exiled after the formation of the Turkish republic the prince ended up in Alexandria and worked for decades at the Antoniadis Palace museum first as a ticket collector and then as director Now back in Istanbul after a fifty year exile he needed a job The uests discussed the delicate subject of employment for the straitened septuagenarian prince of a defunct empire Someone said the Ihlamur Palace museum might need a Porterhouse Blue (Porterhouse Blue, guide who better than the prince who had lived there as a child Pamuk was immediately taken by the idea of a man who outlives his era and becomes theuide to his own house museum He imagined how the prince would Finding Robert Johnson greet visitors Ladies andentlemen Seventy years ago in this room I sat with my aide de camp and studied mathematics before crossing the velvet cordon to sit once at his childhood desk demonstrating how he had held the pencil and rulerTen years later Pamuk came up with an insane plan to write a novel in the form of a museum catalogue while simultaneously building the museum to which it referred The plot of the novel would be fairly straightforward over many years an unhappy lover contrives to steal a large number of objects belonging to his unattainable beloved after whose untimely death he proceeds to buy her family s house and turn it into a museum You might think that Pamuk s first step as a writer would have been to start writing In fact his first step was to contact a real estate age. T refracted by memory and the melancholy–or hü zü n– that all Istanbullus share the sadness that comes of living amid the ruins of a lost empireWith cinematic fluidity Pamuk moves from his Toward the Zen of Performance glamorous unhappy parents to theorgeous decrepit mansions overlooking the Bosphorus; from the da.

Pamuk adds another layer to Istanbul s proverbial description as the bridge between east and west by showing how the major Istanbul modernists poet Yahya Kemal and novelist AH Tanpinar new names to me I have to follow up derived a poetics of post imperial ennui and urban decay from the melancholic image of their city recorded or dreamed by travelling French writers in the nineteenth century The roots of our h z n urban melancholy are European the concept was first explored expressed and poeticized in French he writes And the nineteenth century French the literary critics will tell you were dealing with their own post Napoleonic post imperial fatigue and a Mal du si cle which made for what is called a Late Romanticism dark sexually anguished and routinely syphilitic The day the young writer corrects his first proofs he is as proud as the schoolboy who has just caught his first dose of the clap Baudelaire as well as perverse and pessimistic than the verdant and Liberty extolling English variety outcast exiled dark locked Lord Byron being the founding hero the revolting Satan for the French Romantics I love that whole nervous crew the Horror of Life Club with their flamboyant despair and macabre brilliance an 1874 entry of the Goncourt Journal begins Dinner at the Caf Riche with Flaubert Turgenev ZolaWe began a long discussion of the special aptitudes of writers suffering from constipation and diarrhea and we went on to talk about the mechanics of the French language For such Istanbul visitors as Gautier Nerval and Flaubert melancholy was salutary and decadence authentic the human norm They relished the Orient for what they saw as its frank spectacles of violence and decay Flaubert was especially taken with what he saw as the unworried kinship of pomp and sualor writing a friend from Istanbul in November 1850 he marveled at the splendid faces iridescent existences that Butt Workouts by Chia Booty glisten andleam exceedingly various in their riches and robes rich in filth in their tatters and finery And there beneath it all the old immutable perennial rascality antiuity and authenticity in contrast to the European bourgeoisie s fatuous conflation of moral and material progress its aesthetics of engineering its religion of convenience When the Istanbul modernists like all the other modernists made their pilgrimages to the French wellsprings they found their city already a literary image of melancholy and just in time what with Istanbul now the defunct capital of a fallen empire poor isolated and afflicted by Westernizing republicans a virulently progressive form of authoritarian bourgeois in Pamuk s picture eager to raze the old Ottoman mansions and pour concrete Corbusian apartment blocks in their place I thought of Baudelaire on the demolitions of medieval Paris the form of a city chang. A shimmering evocation by turns intimate and panoramic of one of the world’s reat cities by its foremost writer Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul and still lives in the family apartment building where his mother first held him in her arms His portrait of his city is thus also a self portrai.

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Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul in 1952 and grew up in a large family similar to those which he describes in his novels Cevdet Bey and His Sons and The Black Book in the wealthy westernised district of Nisantasi As he writes in his autobiographical book Istanbul from his childhood until the age of 22 he devoted himself largely to painting and dreamed of becoming an artist After graduating fro