Monday, July 31, 2017

Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk

Istanbul
by Orhan Pamuk

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Published: 2006
Publisher: Vintage
Genre: Biography, Travel, Turkey
Paperback: 400
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
From a very young age, I suspected there was more to my world than I could see: Somewhere in the streets of Istanbul, in a house resembling ours, there lived another Orhan so much like me that he could pass for my twin, even my double.

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.

My two-bits:

The details gives a special look at the city that is Istanbul. I could feel the love the author has for the city despite its melancholy vibe.

The author also shares details of his family history which is equally engaging.

~*~

* part of Diesel Book Club, Larkspur (here)

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