İstanbul Hatıralar ve Şehir review í 4

İstanbul Hatıralar ve Şehir

Orhan Pamuk ¶ 4 Download

Iğini ailesini İstanbul’un ruhundan geçirerek anlatan Orhan Pamuk bize dünyanın en güzel birkaç şehrinden birinin dünyasında bıraktığı izleri anlatıyor. 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 great works of a master

review İstanbul Hatıralar ve Şehir

I bir kitap Dünyaca ünlü romanlarıyla tanıdığımız Orhan Pamuk’un İstanbul’u yazarın hatıralarının değişmez ve büyüleyici fonu Çocukluğunu gençl. 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 gardens This is not an introduction to Istanbul it is a memory palace worthy of the wildest child's fantasies that haunt this tapestry Perhaps John Adams the minimalist composer put it best when discussing his piece On the Transmigration of Souls which was dedicated to 911 as he said I want to avoid words like 'reuiem' or 'memorial' when describing this piece because they too easily suggest conventions that this piece doesn't share If pressed I'd probably call the piece a 'memory space' It's a place where you can go and be alone with your thoughts and emotions The link to a particular historical event in this case to 911 is there if you want to contemplate it But I hope that the piece will summon human experience that goes beyond this particular eventSimilarly Orhan Pamuk is not writing a Decline and Fall of Istanbul in a strict economic and political reactionary sense It's much than thatPamuk chooses to depict the city in which he has lived all fifty years of his life through his own personal experience This is an experience created out of the analysis and painting childhood memories personal family tragedy and happiness famous literary figures and creations perspectives of newspapers and reports of oddities Added to this is descriptions of city wide feelings doings and happenings and most importantly the concept of huzun a complicated honorable tenaciously held communal melancholy that Pamuk believes lies over the city and of course the endless big words East and West shoving their heads together in the midst of people just trying to live their livesPamuk deals with big uestions that fascinate me such as How do you go on when all that you know has died Do you have to burn the past in order to live in the present What does this word West mean and whom does it mean this to How do you deal with multiple identities that tear you apart What is the psychological effect of the generations who repress themselves in order to get along with the new power nations on the block and survive How do you live when all the legends have done it better What is this attachment we have for certain places Who is allowed to have a valid perspective on a place or a culture and why do perspectives from certain sources produce such anger etcHe also deals with uestions on a smaller personal scale which is why this is as much a personal psychological study as it is a national one How do we become who we are Why must we be 'other' in order to see ourselves endless uestions on personal identity and choice and conflicts with family the past the present and the impossible future and trying to come up with choices that please or rebel against all Pamuk shows us an Istanbul drenched in longing a longing that it appears nobody knows how to solve caught between so many poles that people's heads spin It is a place covered in huzun the melancholy stressed above that somehow people just cannot get rid of nearly a century a

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Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’dan Yahya Kemal’e Nerval’den Gautier’ye birçok yazarın durağı yuvası rüyası ve tutkusu olmuş olan şehir İstanbul üstüne yepyen. Pamuk was already one of my favourite authors when I read his memoir of his beloved city Istanbul in conjunction with a family vacation there What an amazing reading experience that wasImagine that old old city full of stories after centuries of human interaction of cultural clashes and exchanges of architectural wonders and wars of destruction And then imagine one of its most talented writers a storyteller with the power of 1001 nights telling the story of the city from his personal angle sharing his historical knowledge his family history and personal relationships both fictional and real Imagine walking the streets and recognising each cobblestone Pamuk mentions Imagine going to the markets and taking in the colours and flavours of the spices that he describes hearing the voices of the lively sellers and buyers engaged in an everyday dialogue that you might not understand but feel close to all of a sudden as you have the voice of Pamuk in your headImagine feeling connected to a completely foreign world through the literary masterpiece of an author who knows how to cross the bridge between Asia and Europe both literally and figuratively speaking Imagine moving around that beautiful powerful city with your own family while stepping into the living room of Pamuk's childhood home meeting his relatives from different generationsImagine feeling the hüzün the melancholy of Istanbul almost as if it was possible to touch it physically guided by Pamuk's experience of spiritual loss as a chain that links together a city in an eternal identity crisisFor me it has always been a city of ruins and of end of empire melancholy I’ve spent my life either battling with this melancholy or like all İstanbullus making it my ownIdentity crisis as the defining element of identity itself that is an idea only literature can explain and transmit in conjunction with the black and white photographs of a fictional past glory and the experience of intense life carried out on the streets of modern IstanbulAs readable as Dickens' London tales and Zola's accounts of Paris Pamuk gives his home town the best tribute possible he invites literary travellers to participate in the imagination of its torn soulBrilliantI couldn't help seeing the city partially with the Scandinavian painter's eyes as well seeing Zorn's painting of the Bosporus as a visual tribute to the melancholy beauty of local life that Pamuk celebratesEast meets West


About the Author: Orhan Pamuk

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



10 thoughts on “İstanbul Hatıralar ve Şehir

  1. says:

    B 79% | Good Notes An effective inviting blend of history and memoir Though the word melancholy is overused to the point of cliché


  2. says:

    Pamuk was already one of my favourite authors when I read his memoir of his beloved city Istanbul in conjunction with a family vacation there What an amazing reading experience that wasImagine that old old city full of stories after centuries of human interaction of cultural clashes and exchanges of architectural wonders and wars of destruction And then imagine one of its most talented writers a storyteller with the power of 1001 nights telling the story of the city from his personal angle sharing his historical knowledge his family history and personal relationships both fictional and real Imagine walking the streets and recognising each cobblestone Pamuk mentions Imagine going to the markets and taking in the colours and flavours of the spices that he describes hearing the voices of the lively sellers and buyers engaged in an everyday dialogue that you might not understand but feel close to all of a sudden as you have the voice of Pamuk in your headImagine feeling connected to a completely foreign world through the literary masterpiece of an author who knows how to cross the bridge between Asia and Europe both literally and figuratively speaking Imagine moving around that beautiful powerful city with your own family while stepping into the living room of Pamuk's childhood home meeting his relatives from different generationsImagine feeling the hüzün the melancholy of Istanbul almost as if it was possible to touch it physically guided by Pamuk's experience of spiritual loss as a chain that links together a city in an eternal identity crisisFor me it has always been a city of ruins and of end of empire melancholy I’ve spent my life either battling with this melancholy or like all İstanbullus making it my ownIdentity crisis as the defining element of identity itself that is an idea only literature can explain and transmit in conjunction with the black and white photographs of a fictional past glory and the experience of intense life carried out on the streets of modern IstanbulAs readable as Dickens' London tales and Zola's accounts of Paris Pamuk gives his home town the best tribute possible he invites literary travellers to participate in the imagination of its torn soulBrilliantI couldn't help seeing the city partially with the Scandinavian painter's eyes as well seeing Zorn's painting of the Bosporus as a visual tribute to the melancholy beauty of local life that Pamuk celebratesEast meets West


  3. says:

    Istanbul Hatıralar ve Şehir Istanbul Memories and the City 2005 Orhan PamukIstanbul Memories and the City is a largely autobiographical memoir by Orhan Pamuk that is deeply melancholic It talks about the vast cultural change that has rocked Turkey – the unending battle between the modern and the receding past It is also a eulogy to the lost joint family tradition Most of all it is a book about Bosphorus and Istanbul's history with the strait It was translated into English by Maureen Freely in 2005تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و سوم ماه آوریل سال 2014 میلادیعنوان استانبول خاطرات و شهر؛ نویسنده اورهان پاموک؛ مترجم شهلا طهماسبی؛ مشخصات نشر تهران، نیلوفر، 1391، در 495ص؛ مصور، شابک 9789644484704؛ کتاب از متن انگلیسی با عنوان بالا ترجمه شده است، موضوع نویسندگان ترک سرگذشتنامه، استانبول ترکیه، سیر و سیاحت سده 20مکتاب «استانبول شهر و خاطره‌ها»، یک خودزندگی‌نامه، اثری از «اورهان پاموک» است، که رگه‌هایی از مالیخولیا در آن دیده می‌شود؛ در این کتاب در مورد تغییرات فرهنگی گسترده در «ترکیه» سخن گفته می‌شود؛ «پاموک» این کتاب را هنگامی نوشتند، که افسردگی نزدیک بود سراسر روح و جسم وی را فراگیرد؛ در یک مصاحبه «پاموک» بیان کرد نمی‌خواهم چندان به جزییاتی همانند طلاق، مرگ پدر، مشکلات و دشواری‌های کاری، و از این قبیل، بپردازم، همه چیز بد پیش می‌رفت؛ گمان می‌کنم اگر ضعیف می‌بودم، افسردگی مرا فرامی‌گرفت؛ اما هر روز بیدار می‌شدم، یک دوش خنک می‌گرفتم، و به یادآوری، و نوشتن، مشغول می‌شدم، و به زیبایی و ظرافت کتاب بیشتر توجه می‌کردم؛ پایان نقلیادمانهای شخصی ایشان، با اشاره‌ هایی به دیگر نویسندگان «استانبول»، در هم آمیخته شده‌ است؛ یک فصل کامل از کتاب، به «آنتونی ایگناس ملینگ» هنرمند سده ی نوزدهم میلادی اختصاص یافته‌ است، که حکاکی و قلم زنی‌هایی در «قسطنطنیه» انجام داده بود؛ نویسندگان مورد علاقه «پاموک»، که الهام بخش او بوده‌ اند، و شخصیت‌های کتاب او را، تشکیل می‌دهند «یحیی کمال بیاتلی نام اصلی احمد آگاه»، «رشات اکرم کوچو»، «عبدالهاک شیناسی هیسار»، و «احمد حمدی تن پینار» هستند؛ عکس‌های کتاب توسط عکاس ارمنی «آرا گولر از معروف‌ترین عکاسان دنیا» تهیه شده‌ است؛ پاموک برهان انتخاب او را، وجود جو مالیخولیایی و اندوهناک در آثارش بیان کرده است؛تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 30031399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا شربیانی


  4. says:

    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 gardens This is not an introduction to Istanbul it is a memory palace worthy of the wildest child's fantasies that haunt this tapestry Perhaps John Adams the minimalist composer put it best when discussing his piece On the Transmigration of Souls which was dedicated to 911 as he said I want to avoid words like 'reuiem' or 'memorial' when describing this piece because they too easily suggest conventions that this piece doesn't share If pressed I'd probably call the piece a 'memory space' It's a place where you can go and be alone with your thoughts and emotions The link to a particular historical event in this case to 911 is there if you want to contemplate it But I hope that the piece will summon human experience that goes beyond this particular eventSimilarly Orhan Pamuk is not writing a Decline and Fall of Istanbul in a strict economic and political reactionary sense It's much than thatPamuk chooses to depict the city in which he has lived all fifty years of his life through his own personal experience This is an experience created out of the analysis and painting childhood memories personal family tragedy and happiness famous literary figures and creations perspectives of newspapers and reports of oddities Added to this is descriptions of city wide feelings doings and happenings and most importantly the concept of huzun a complicated honorable tenaciously held communal melancholy that Pamuk believes lies over the city and of course the endless big words East and West shoving their heads together in the midst of people just trying to live their livesPamuk deals with big uestions that fascinate me such as How do you go on when all that you know has died? Do you have to burn the past in order to live in the present? What does this word West mean and whom does it mean this to? How do you deal with multiple identities that tear you apart? What is the psychological effect of the generations who repress themselves in order to get along with the new power nations on the block and survive? How do you live when all the legends have done it better? What is this attachment we have for certain places? Who is allowed to have a valid perspective on a place or a culture and why do perspectives from certain sources produce such anger? etcHe also deals with uestions on a smaller personal scale which is why this is as much a personal psychological study as it is a national one How do we become who we are? Why must we be 'other' in order to see ourselves? endless uestions on personal identity and choice and conflicts with family the past the present and the impossible future and trying to come up with choices that please or rebel against all Pamuk shows us an Istanbul drenched in longing a longing that it appears nobody knows how to solve caught between so many poles that people's heads spin It is a place covered in huzun the melancholy stressed above that somehow people just cannot get rid of nearly a century after the Ottoman empire fell He describes its honorable nature its communal nature the complicated opinions people have towards the past and the Westernizing present and future Anyone who has paid attention to Turkish politics should recognize the pull between East and West where what people think is Western is sometimes misunderstood and what being modern really is He shows us a tortured place where even beauty is full of pain The Bosphorous is presented as an endless possibility a soothing slice of heaven surrounding the city a place to escape at the beginning of the book and the author's complicated outlook morphs it into a source of threats and danger by the end He shows us stark pictures of the poverty of the wings of Istanbul and then writes tortured chapters arguing with 19th century western authors who praised the picturesue beauty of the broken down areas of the city He shows us a place where people ape Western thought and ideas and dress and look down on anyone who isn't European enough and yet a place where the newspapers publish glowing accounts of the poor neighborhoods with romanticized accounts of people living pure Turkish old fashioned lives every year and where the checkered Ottoman past is openly celebrated each year He writes a chapter on Under Western Eyes describing this conflict and yet openly admits that it is Westerners who see the city the way that he does and then he tortures himself about that too Pamuk's city is needless to say perhaps after all that a place where nobody can be easy with themselves where they are going where they are or where they came from And in that way I think Pamuk is able to make a microcosm of our ever complicated globalized world where the 19th century savior of identity nationalism is breaking down and what will rise to replace it is so far uncertain Therefore I really don't care if you ever want to go to Istanbul or not this book helped Orhan Pamuk win the Nobel Prize for a reason I think that we would all be a little patient with the world if everyone listened to what Pamuk has to sayPS Whoever put this in the Travel section next to Under the Tuscan Sun EPIC FAIL


  5. says:

    It feels very odd to be writing this review now sitting in a car on my way back home feeling bored and tired for no particular reason And out of nowhere this book which I finished than a month ago and entirely gave up on ever being able to write a decent review about comes to my mind unbidden as though deeply connected with my present state of mind This is going to be one of the most personal reviews I’ll ever write but that’s merely because Istanbul Memories and the City has affected me personally than any other book ever has Therefore I’m not going to praise Pamuk’s literary skills or the elouence of the language Nor am I going to comment on the exuisite picture of Istanbul which many westerners have described and which the author himself reflects upon many a time throughout the whole book Those aspects enchanted me well enough and they do give this book a great deal of its charm but not as much as the relationship Pamuk shares with his city does I have to say that I’ve also chosen a very odd timing to read this memoir The few past months have been very busy and offered me very little time to read and yet stubbornly I guess and to the amusement of many of my friends I carried this book everywhere I went to make use of stolen free moments It took me long to finish naturally but as John Green elouently puts it ‘ As I read I fell in love the way you fall asleep slowly and then all at once The result was that I would read a few pages on the road then find myself staring out of the window watching many familiar objects as though for the first time Has Jerusalem always been this beautiful? Has it always buzzed with noise and movement? I’d wonder sometimes The magic in this book was that while it offered nothing new except the details of Istanbul and its dark alleys which I’ve never been to it reminded me to observe my own city with fresh eyes As a painting probably Or a black and white sketch Sometimes as a partner in an epic love story Whatever it was it helped me remember that familiarity does not necessarily guarantee perfect knowledge That in an earlier century another person stood just like I did in a place he’d known since childhood suddenly noticing something that has always been there but somehow at that particular moment felt new and uniue And why is that? Because he pretended to be a stranger a “Westerner” in Pamuk’s case‘So whenever I sense the absence of Western eyes I become my own Westerner’Ch31‘I would begin to observe myself from the outside as if in a dream’ Ch34 At moments I felt that I’ve never related to an author or to his seeking the picturesue and the poetic At others I felt pity Pity that such a brilliant writer could be lost much too taken with the European take on Istanbul in his youth And so I found it only understandable for him to wonder by the end of the book “Why should we expect a city to cure us of our spiritual pains?” Perhaps we shouldn't The melancholy which invades the very soul of these memoirs stems from the city itself its ruins and dilapidated palaces from the attempt to modernize along with westernize Turkey and bury the deeply rooted history This specific sentence stopped me because it occurred to me upon reading it that cities with ever changing and usually painful histories must have similar emotional atmospheres This is probably why I loved Pamuk’s walks to the poor neighborhoods and the ruins than anything else; they represented the sort of poetic escapism which this book offered me on so many occasions And it made me wonder than ever whether Pamuk intended those memoirs to be a record of his own actions and decisions or a tribute to the city he loved yet in which he was ever restless and wandering Reading this book I was also reminded that stress teaches you to yearn for the unreachable the unexpected At least it taught me to Reading under stress also gave this book a wholly different light from what I anticipated Pamuk’s memoirs came as a stimulator for many feelings and urges instead of a stereotyped brochure about Istanbul’s charms The I read the I felt this irresistible urge to paint and write I think that during those busy months I’ve had sketches around me begging to be worked on than I ever had in my free time The chapter named “Painting Istanbul” only helped to ignite those yearnings and to make me pray for some leisure And like Pamuk I felt that painting allowed me to enter the scene on the canvas The positive pointed out I have to say that this book was far from perfect I wasn’t truly interested in Pamuk’s physical fantasies or his religious upbringing which he mentioned often and which I found irrelevant and distracting most of the time The narration though beautiful and imaginative tended sometimes towards repetition All in all the few negative points aside Pamuk’s memoirs will always stay with me and remind me of a specific period in my life when I decided to study architecture the very branch of study the author chose then soon after decided to abandon for writing and when I re established my long term passion for painting also a hobby the author chose to uit long ago Istanbul Memories and the City will always be one of my treasured reads


  6. says:

    Along with The World's Literature group I have been reading a lot of books set in Turkey this year Just check out what I've covered so far One of the best known Turkish authors has to be Orhan Pamuk I've only managed to read one book of his so far but there are man


  7. says:

    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 great works of a master


  8. says:

    There's really no nice way to say this One of the deservedly obscure authors he spends a chapter praising is described as being some kind of pedophile This isn't a pretend metaphor in Lolita this is Pamuk's loving description of a nobody If that's not enough his best description of Istanbul one of the largest cities today and importantly in history is mopery about his apartment and decaying wooden houses near it To spend a day in the tiny English section of a large bookstore and see nothing but Pamuk writings everywhere put me in a decidedly bad moodOriginal reviewThis book can feel so perfectly paced and intimate because he spends a lifetime sitting indoors bemoaning an Istanbul which he says doesn't exist any How he can remain isolated in a busy city year after year says about him his non Turkish background wealthier heritage self centered habits etc than it probably does about Istanbul I stopped reading just after he described his encyclopedic unread and unwept literary heros but regret avoiding Istanbul based on his descriptions Turks don't seem to like him because of his comments about Armenians His politics may sometimes have validity but he's mostly a spoiled man pretending to moan over himselfHave to say finally my edition was the second most beautifully designed and made paperback I've ever read with paper type faces and space of precisely the right weight


  9. says:

    For me a good day is a day like any other when I have written one page well Except for the hours I spend writing life seems to me to be flawed deficient and senseless Those who know me well understand how dependent I am on writing tables pens and white paper but they still urge me to 'take a bit of time off do some travelling enjoy life' Those who know me even better understand that my greatest happiness is writing so they tell me that nothing that keeps me far from writing paper and ink will ever do me any good I am one of those rare happy creatures who have been able to do what they most desired and who have been able to devote themselves to that task to the exclusion of all else


  10. says:

    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 hüzün 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 siècle 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 Café 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 glisten and gleam 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 changes 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 flâneurs like themselves the Proust like recluse Abdülhak Şinasi Hisar and the historian Reşat Ekrem Koçu 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 ground for diverse passions – creative and curatorial novelistic and antiuarian; sexual architectural philosophical I think of Joseph Cornell reading Mallarmé 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 guests discussed the delicate subject of employment for the straitened septuagenarian prince of a defunct empire Someone said the Ihlamur Palace museum might need a 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 the guide to his own house museum He imagined how the prince would greet visitors – ‘Ladies and gentlemen 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 agent He needed to buy a house for his future heroine Füsun During the 1990s Pamuk visited hundreds of properties trying to imagine Füsun and her parents living in them It was beyond his means to purchase a whole building in Nişantaşi 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 gas meter Pamuk published The Museum of Innocence in 2008 It resembles less a museum catalogue than a 600 page audio guide A ticket printed in the back of each copy grants one free entry to the museum By that point he had already acuired nearly all of Füsun’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 coupés 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


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