Tuesday, January 5, 2016

a strangeness (2)

"The story is about a street vendor who sells items including boza, a traditional drink made from fermented wheat “that people enjoy at night and associated with Ottomanness, Turkishness and romantic dreams of Ottoman life.

“On the other hand, my character… shows the reader how this city — street by street, shop by shop, window by window — changes.”

When the book begins in the 1970s, Istanbul’s population was just two million, but now it is up to 16 million, he noted.

Whether Pamuk is writing about 20th century Turkey (as in “The Museum of Innocence”) or medieval times (as in “My Name is Red”), the city of Istanbul has almost always been the main character in his works.

“For me, the sense of Istanbul is Bosphorus, history, a palimpsest of civilization, with monumental buildings and a continuous construction where people built and complain, complain and complain but enjoy their… modern life.”

“Which is all the contradictions that define Istanbul.”

(...)

For now, Pamuk is focusing on putting the finishing touches to a new novel which he says will be a surprise for some readers.

In typical Pamuk style, it tells the story of a well digger in Istanbul and his apprentice and is “allegorical.”

But this time there is a difference.

“The whole problem here is that this time I want to write a short novel, and break the heart of my traditional readers who always tell me to write a long one,” he said.

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from here, Times of Israel.

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