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Istanbul: Memories and the Cityby Orhan Pamuk
Synopses & Reviews
A shimmering evocation, by turns intimate and panoramic, of one of the world’s great 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-portrait, refracted by memory and the melancholy–or hüzün– that all Istanbullus share: the sadness that comes of living amid the ruins of a lost empire.
With cinematic fluidity, Pamuk moves from his glamorous, unhappy parents to the gorgeous, decrepit mansions overlooking the Bosphorus; from the dawning 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 moving.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
An intriguing literary portrait of one of the world's most complex and diverse cities by the renowned author of My Name Is Red interweaves the history of Istanbul with observations and reflections on the city's landmarks, art, people, institutions, and great spaces. Reprint. 25,000 first printing.
About the Author
Orhan Pamuk's novel My Name Is Red won the 2003 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in Istanbul.
Table of Contents
Another orhan — The photographs in the dark museum house — "Me" — The destruction of the Pashas' mansions: a sad tour of the streets — Black and white — Exploring the Bosphorus — Melling's Bosphorus landscapes — My mother, my father, and various disappearances — Another house: Cihangir — Huzun — Four lonely melancholic writers — My grandmother — The joy and monotony of school — Esaelp gnittips on — Ahmet Rasim and other city columnists — Don't walk down the street with your mouth open — The pleasures of painting — Resat Ekrem Kocu's collection of facts and curiosities: The Istanbul Encyclopedia — Conquest or decline? The Turkification of Constantinople — Religion — The rich — On the ships that passed through the Bosphorus, famous fires, moving house, and other disasters — Nerval in Istanbul: Beyoglu walks — Gautier's melancholic strolls through the city — Under western eyes — The melancholy of the ruins: Tanpinar and Yahya Kemal in the city's poor neighborhoods — The picturesque and the outlying neighborhoods — Painting Istanbul — Painting and family happiness — The smoke rising from ships on the Bosphorus — Flaubert in Istanbul: east, west and syphilis — Fights with my older brother — A foreigner in a foreign school — To be unhappy is to hate oneself and one's city — First love — The ship on the Golden Horn — A conversation with my mother: patience, caution, and art.
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