Talking about Pamuk and Istanbul seems too light, because for a foreign literature enthusiast, the two can basically be equal. But it is not easy to really understand Istanbul, the Nobel laureate in literature.
As the recorder and spokesperson of this ancient city, Pamuk once wrote: “When every strange monument is filled with poetry and grief of the lost empire and its historical sites, I imagine that I am the only one to uncover the secret of this city. People.”
The mutual reflection of literature and reality is intriguing. The Western vision and the oriental imagination meet in Istanbul: traditional European writers see the prosperity and exoticism of things and things; the pioneer of modernist literature, Flaubert, feels lost for the disenchantment of the East. I think that the surface is bright, but it is not shining.
In the dilapidated walls and the ruined palace, Istanbul finally waited for its own spokesperson, Pamuk.
Pamuk’s insight and perception naturally grows on this land. In addition to three years in the United States, Orhan Pamuk has not left Istanbul for a long time. In his semi-autobiographical work “Istanbul: Memory of a City”, he wrote: “The fate of Istanbul is my destiny: I am attached to this city, only because she created me today.”
Because of a writer, remember a city. In the era of Pamuk, the character of Istanbul was defined to some extent, that is, the “snoring” that permeates the city and the “innocence” of the deep-rooted characters.
Intersection of civilization
If it is based on civilization, no city other than Jerusalem is more complicated than Istanbul.
In Istanbul, one of the great things about people’s lives is to take a ferry between Asia and Europe and enjoy the beautiful city skyline from the sea. When the weather is fine, you can stand on the deck and feed the seagulls that follow; in the rainy weather, you can sit in the cabin and have a cup of warm tea. “You will find that the Bosphorus is very beautiful, not as bad as life, despite sadness,” Pamuk said.
The Turkish word “bosphorus” and “throat” are the same word, but it has become the most tacit metaphor. Here is the throat that enters the Marmara Sea from the Black Sea. It is also the throat that divides Asia and Europe. .
In the city of Istanbul, the ancient civilization left a strong pen and ink: the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
Hagia Sophia is the only remaining well-preserved Byzantine building with a history of nearly 1,500 years. The dome of up to 56 meters, according to the writer of the Eastern Roman Empire court, “it does not seem to be placed on the underground stone structure, but like hanging on a gold chain hanging from the height of the sky.”
The famous Blue Mosque was built in 1609, and the inner walls are all decorated with blue and white Iznik tiles. There are six spires around the huge dome, which were built without a nail and have not collapsed after several earthquakes. The stunning dome and glazed glass windows make every detail from the inside out beautiful.
This kind of conflict is a contradiction, a blending, and a chemical reaction between civilizations. Pamuk’s own writing carries the tension of the clash of civilizations. He uses the mouth of the character to say: “My fickle heart, when I am in the East, I long for the West; when I am in the West, I long for the East. ”
However, Pamuk has always been on the border between the East and the West, Asia and Europe. For 40 years, he has not been bored. On the contrary, he has become more calm and delicate: “Conrad, Nabokov, Naipaul – these writers have successfully navigated between language, culture, country, continent and even civilization. They are widely known. Their imagination is nourished by this kind of leaving home. The extraction of nutrients is not through the roots, but because there is no root; but my imagination requires me to stay in the same city, the same street, the same house, Look at the same scenery.”
Under the glory of Istanbul, the sigh of the rise and fall of civilization is endless, listen carefully, and the most affectionate voice must be Pamuk.
A touch of sadness
If you want to use a word to summarize the Istanbul in Pamuk, the word must be “snoring.”
He repeatedly explained the meaning of the word, for fear that a misunderstanding would detract from the uniqueness of Istanbul. He said: “Istanbul has always been a city of ruins for me, full of sorrows of the empire.” He said: “I have not opposed this kind of sorrow in my life, just like every Istanbul, let her be her own sorrow.”
The word “snoring” comes from the Qur’an and is used to describe the sense of loss from the depths of his heart after the death of his wife, Hadji, and his uncle, Tari Chung. In Sufi’s mysticism, snoring is a positive but sad understanding of life, and also a philosophical thought born from the deep feelings of sadness. For this reason, snoring is the core of Istanbul’s culture, poetry and daily life.
Pamuk injects the modern Turk’s life experience into the “snoring” and condenses into the urban character of Istanbul today: “My starting point is a child’s feelings through the window covered with water vapor. Now we Gradually understand that snoring is not the sadness of a lonely person, but the dark emotion shared by millions of people. I want to explain the appeal of the entire city of Istanbul.”
In his memories, the color of Istanbul became indifferent: it was “the old Bosphorus ferry that was moored at the abandoned ferry in the winter, the crew on the boat scrubbed the deck, a portable bucket, and one eye looked at the black and white TV in the distance. “That is “the sun sets early in the evening, walking down the streetlights and carrying the plastic bags home to the fathers”; that is “in the financial crisis, squatting all day long, waiting for customers to come to the door all day long.” “Bookmakers”; “barbers who complain about the reduction in the number of haircuts by men after the economic crisis”; “the tens of thousands of identical apartment doors, whose appearance is dirty, discolored due to rust, ash, dust”; “the collapse of the Byzantine Empire” “The ruins of the city wall”; it is “the market that has no one in the evening”; it is “the tekke that has collapsed”; it is “the seagull perched on a rusty barge”; it is “all damaged, worn, and not scenery” Everything else…”
Pamuk said that although there are glory ancestors in “red, green and fresh orange”, the past of Istanbul must be expressed by black and white images. “Wear the same bleak brown clothes… This is the dress in the black and white city, they seem to say: This is the way to mourn for a city that has declined for 150 years.”
If you haven’t been surprised by the connection between real life and fictional literature, then come to Istanbul to see the innocent museum.
This is the first museum in the world to be based entirely on a novel, which the BBC calls “a most powerful project from the hands of the most courageous writer in Turkey.”
Located on the 24th, Dalgoqi Chekmaze Street, this three-story Turkish-style building built in 1894 is an innocent museum and home to the novel “Innocent Museum”. Here, after passing through the streets and buildings in reality, you finally arrive at a fictional story.
Pamuk said that when he stepped down the Nobel Prize podium, he had this goal. He continued to design this love story, and finally he could finally finish with a bonus: he would build a museum like the novel actor and add museum collections according to the fictional plot of the novel. For this project, Pamuk quietly visited the streets, visited collectors, and squatted in antique shops.
He didn’t even tell anyone that when he bought an antique plate or a cracked teacup, he turned it into evidence of a fictional love story in the real world and turned it into an exhibit in the museum.
Today, no matter which language version of the “Innocent Museum” visitors take, the staff will be on the page of the ticket in the book, stamped with the chapter of the shape of the earrings of the butterfly. This book will become a ticket to the museum.
The 83 exhibition areas here correspond to the 83 chapters in the novel. It is the home of Fu Fu, the last place of Kemal’s life, the indulgence of Kemal to Fu, and the love of Pamukka to Istanbul.
In the novel, after the departure of Fu, Kemal has been collecting the traces of Fu in the name of love. All the objects commemorate the pain and happiness he never lost: salt shakers, puppies, thimbles, pens, hairpins, ashtrays, earrings, cards, keys, fans, perfume bottles, handkerchiefs, brooches… and 4,213 Cigarette butts.
In front of the wall with 4,213 cigarette butts, it was always crowded with people who came here. It was the cigarette butt that had been smoked, the note under the cigarette butt, which was written on the day of the day, what she had said to him and what she had done that day. In the book, Kemal treats the cigarette butt that Fu has left: he picks up the cigarette and smells it, then puts it on his mouth and almost ignites it, but thinks that the cigarette will burn out. And gave up. “I let the cigarette butt that her lips touched, gently touched my cheeks, under the eyes, forehead and neck.” In front of me, “the scene of the distant continent and the paradise that promises happiness is flashed.”
From the exhibits, the innocent museum cleverly shows the details of the life of Istanbul, the relationship between the class and the entanglement between tradition and modernity. At the entrance to the museum, there is a small museum declaration written by Pamuk for the Innocent Museum: “These institutions only represent the country, and they are about national history and national history, not individual stories. The daily life of ordinary individuals. Life is far richer than the grand culture, more human and more enjoyable.”
In the fictional love between Kemal and Fu, the shadow of Pamuk’s first love is also hidden. Before becoming a writer, 19-year-old architecture student Pamuk was still dreaming of being a painter. In the recollection article, he and his first love girlfriend, a brown-haired brown-eyed Turkish girl, once a week in the studio, the dark sky, the dark room, the late storm, they are lying on the sofa, watching Boss Searchlights on the ships of the Prussian sea, sweeping through the dark waters and the walls of the apartments.
“So loving, so cold,” Pamuk wrote. In the end, Pamuk’s first love was shattered with his painter’s dream. He chose to use Istanbul as his lifelong lover to write the city with his life’s innocence. Just like at the end of the novel, Kemal said that he was very happy in his life: “Can you fall in love with these objects that have been deeply immersed in deep emotions and memories? What better than this?”
In 2015, after ten years of winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, Pamuk handed over “The Strange Things in My Head.” In this novel, Istanbul is still the background of the story, but the protagonist is the bourgeoisie who was often portrayed by the author and squatted in the conflict zone between the East and the West. He became a hawker born in the suburbs of Istanbul.
The novel’s protagonist, McFrut, was born in a poor village 700 miles from Istanbul. In 1969, at the age of 12, he moved to Istanbul with his father and started a new life. However, Istanbul did not immediately become his destination. The society is changing with each passing day. People in the city are lost in money and desire, but McFrush always maintains kindness and authenticity.
He struggled to survive in the big cities, sold sizzling (Boza, traditional Turkish drinks), yogurt, ice cream, chickpea rice, and sold lottery tickets, but never made a fortune. McFrut has a sincere feeling for the traditional long-term fermented drink, although the number of people who love to drink is less and less, and the only customers just use it as a nostalgic spice in dinner. But in his mind, he thought of all kinds of “weird things” but fixed the nostalgia of the Istanbul people on the things that have passed away.
You know, these human stories are not fictionalized by Pamuk. He has done detailed research on this. “Reading is useless, I can often bring a tape recorder and run around to chat with people.”
The goodwill on the street also makes the writing process smoother. “Istanbul still has a lot of hawkers. You buy a shack, you have the opportunity to talk with the hawkers. You can say who you are and who is conceiving a novel, ‘Let’s talk, then they will You chat.”
Living in Istanbul for half a lifetime, with the advent of new roads, demolition, buildings, big advertisements, shops, underground passages and overpasses, Pamuk’s familiar urban appearance in 20 years has disappeared, and he feels sad. But at the same time, he felt more that the city was changing for himself, and he felt a joy again.
He likes to fantasize Istanbul as “a place where you built it while you live, and the future will be more beautiful, clean and modern.” And the old houses in the city were built when they were still in the village and not even born. “They have a half-century history, with heating, elevators and high roofs… In those old houses, they are still strangers in the city.”
In Pamuk’s Istanbul, it is not wise to find sights by sight. The real Turkish style is hidden on every corner: the freshly squeezed juice shop on the roadside, the welcoming wine house, and the scented barbecue. At noon, the sun shines brightly, and the hot sun shines on the people who believe in the faith. You may want to go through the streets with the crowds to find the snoring and innocence of Istanbul.