Summary Of The Novel Istanbul: Memories And The City By Orhan Pamuk

2029 Words 9 Pages
In the recently published first volume of memoirs, Istanbul: Memories and the City, Orhan Pamuk describes how a 1950’s child hood among Europe -yearning cosmopolitans in the crumbling ruins of the Ottoman Empire helped to shape him as a writer. The key, he said, is to understand the concept of huzun. This turkish word describes a kind of melancholy, he says, not so much a personal state as one shared by an entire society, a mood of resigned despair for the great past - a murky, black white world of sodden streetscapes and peeling palaces. “The thought behind huzun was: People in Europe are happy but we are doomed,” Mr. Pamuk, also author of the novel named Snow, said a few weeks ago as he tucked into a freshly grilled bonito in a favorite …show more content…
Nezih Barut, who owns a Pharmaceutical Company in Istanbul and who’s company is a sponsor of many art-related events at this year's biennial, also lives in one of the Bosporus waterfront villas. He said he had definitely noticed a rising influx of tourists from America, Germany, England ,Japan and, especially, Russia. “I have noticed a rise in the number of tourists from other countries. It began, I would say, about ten years ago, and has really increased in the last couple of years,” he claimed. One reason for this, he said, is that as the old, wooden Ottoman mansions burned d own over the decades, due to fires, a new, more modern and comfortable waterfront rose up, inviting to European travelers. Turkey's strengthening economy has improved in recent years, driven in part by reforms aimed at encouraging the country's acceptance as a member of the European Union. Negotiations over Turkey's entrance into the union are set to begin on October 3. For European-leaning Turks, this would be a long-awaited moment of acceptance. For many in the country's growing community of devout Muslims, it is less welcome, and there have been …show more content…
But it made bigger news in Istanbul because it also showed that 29% of Europeans felt adding Turkey to the European Union would be a bad thing and that only 62% favored it. A front-page article in “The Turkish Daily News,” the city's chief English-language paper, decided to stress that the largest group, 42%, were ambivalent about the whole thing, and advocated a marketing campaign to win them over. Nevertheless, more than a dozen well-to-do Istanbullus interviewed this month said that they were pessimistic about their nation's chances. “I do not think it would happen,” said Mr. Barut, the pharmaceuticals executive. “Why should they do it? We are 70,000,000 people, with many problems. And we are a muslim nation, which frightens them.” One can, perhaps, detect a slight note of huzun in this widespread attitude. And indeed, incongruous as it can seem on a walk along the stunningly beautiful Bosporus, the old city of crowded markets and ancient traditions is still very much

Related Documents