Istanbul : memories of a city

by Orhan Pamuk | Travel |
ISBN: 9780571218332 Global Overview for this book
Registered by over-the-moon of Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on 2/11/2023
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by over-the-moon from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Saturday, February 11, 2023
Found in the Valentin bookbox

Journal Entry 2 by over-the-moon at Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Monday, June 5, 2023
An uncompromising portrait of Istanbul - don't expect picture postcard descriptions of glittering domes and slender minarets. Pamuk has lived in Istanbul all his life and knows it inside out; he revels in its dark side, the melancholy (from the Greek for black bile), the ancient cobbled streets, the crumbling buildings, the burnt-down yali, the smoke from ship funnels on the Bosphorus, the packs of dogs. He describes his family and life from childhood to the time, as a student, he realised that he wanted to become a writer, and not an artist or an architect.
The feeling of melancholy, in Turkish hüzün, impermeates the pages, heightened by a rich selection of black and white photographs.
He often mentions the Westernization of Istanbul but the book was written before Erdogan who is doing his utmost to turn the country into an Islamic state, undoing all the efforts of Kemal Atatürk. During the elections before last I travelled in the north and was astounded by the number of new mosques being built. I wonder what Pamuk thinks of this, now they are trying to get us to call it Türkiye because apparently some people associate the English name with the Thanksgiving bird, which was named by settlers in the US after a similar bird known as the turkeyhen/turkeycock, which came from India - so the Turkish word for a turkey is hindi, like the French dinde from d'Inde (from India).
Well, I have never been confused by Turkey/turkey so will continue to use the English version.

I very much enjoyed this book, which is seamlessly translated by Maureen Freely. I never realised that I was reading a translation. A few typos.

Journal Entry 3 by over-the-moon at Restaurant Le Sémaphore in Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Monday, June 5, 2023

Released 3 mos ago (6/6/2023 UTC) at Restaurant Le Sémaphore in Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland


Istanbul seen and remembered through the heart. For the meetup.

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