Istanbul: Memories and the City

Istanbul Memories and the City 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 wh

  • Title: Istanbul: Memories and the City
  • Author: Orhan Pamuk
  • ISBN: 9781400033881
  • Page: 162
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 h z n that all Istanbullus share 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 h z n 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.

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    About “Orhan Pamuk

    • Orhan Pamuk

      Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul in 1952 and grew up in a large family similar to those which he describes in his novels Cevdet Bey and His Sons and The Black Book, in the wealthy westernised district of Nisantasi As he writes in his autobiographical book Istanbul, from his childhood until the age of 22 he devoted himself largely to painting and dreamed of becoming an artist After graduating from the secular American Robert College in Istanbul, he studied architecture at Istanbul Technical University for three years, but abandoned the course when he gave up his ambition to become an architect and artist He went on to graduate in journalism from Istanbul University, but never worked as a journalist At the age of 23 Pamuk decided to become a novelist, and giving up everything else retreated into his flat and began to write.His first novel Cevdet Bey and His Sons was published seven years later in 1982 The novel is the story of three generations of a wealthy Istanbul family living in Nisantasi, Pamuk s own home district The novel was awarded both the Orhan Kemal and Milliyet literary prizes The following year Pamuk published his novel The Silent House, which in French translation won the 1991 Prix de la d couverte europ ene The White Castle 1985 about the frictions and friendship between a Venetian slave and an Ottoman scholar was published in English and many other languages from 1990 onwards, bringing Pamuk his first international fame The same year Pamuk went to America, where he was a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York from 1985 to 1988 It was there that he wrote most of his novel The Black Book, in which the streets, past, chemistry and texture of Istanbul are described through the story of a lawyer seeking his missing wife This novel was published in Turkey in 1990, and the French translation won the Prix France Culture The Black Book enlarged Pamuk s fame both in Turkey and internationally as an author at once popular and experimental, and able to write about past and present with the same intensity In 1991 Pamuk s daughter R ya was born That year saw the production of a film Hidden Face, whose script by Pamuk was based on a one page story in The Black Book.His novel The New Life, about young university students influenced by a mysterious book, was published in Turkey in 1994 and became one of the most widely read books in Turkish literature My Name Is Red, about Ottoman and Persian artists and their ways of seeing and portraying the non western world, told through a love story and family story, was published in 1998 This novel won the French Prix du meilleur livre tranger, the Italian Grinzane Cavour 2002 and the International IMPAC Dublin literary award 2003 From the mid 1990s Pamuk took a critical stance towards the Turkish state in articles about human rights and freedom of thought, although he took little interest in politics Snow, which he describes as my first and last political novel was published in 2002 In this book set in the small city of Kars in northeastern Turkey he experimented with a new type of political novel , telling the story of violence and tension between political Islamists, soldiers, secularists, and Kurdish and Turkish nationalists Snow was selected as one of the best 100 books of 2004 by The New York Times In 1999 a selection of his articles on literature and culture written for newspapers and magazines in Turkey and abroad, together with a selection of writings from his private notebooks, was published under the title Other Colours Pamuk s most recent book, Istanbul, is a poetical work that is hard to classify, combining the author s early memoirs up to the age of 22, and an essay about the city of Istanbul, illustrated with photographs from his own album, and pictures by western painters and Turkish photographers.



    476 thoughts on “Istanbul: Memories and the City

    • Pamuk was already one of my favourite authors when I read his memoir of his beloved city - Istanbul - in conjunction with a family vacation there. What an amazing reading experience that was!Imagine that old, old city, full of stories after centuries of human interaction, of cultural clashes and exchanges, of architectural wonders and wars of destruction. And then imagine one of its most talented writers, a storyteller with the power of 1001 nights, telling the story of the city from his persona [...]


    • It is just lucky that I happened to read Menocal's Ornament of the World just before this, as it perfectly prepared me for the psychological labyrinth that is this book. It introduced me to a beautiful, helpful image for Pamuk's creation- the "memory palaces" and "memory gardens". This is not an introduction to Istanbul, it is a memory palace worthy of the wildest child's fantasies that haunt this tapestry. Perhaps John Adams, the minimalist composer, put it best when discussing his piece On the [...]


    • فى المجمل وع العموم أنا لا أحب أدب السير الذاتية , لا لسبب بعينه ولكنى لا أعد نفسى من محبي هذا النوع من الأدب , رغم انبهارى بالعديد من هذه السير التى طالعتها .ولكن أحياناً تقابلك حالة فريدة من هذا النوع تضعك فى راحة ذهنية ونفسية ممتعة.حالة من الظلم أن تقول عنها مجرد سيرة ذاتية ل [...]


    • من بين خمسين كتاباً يصطفون في قائمة الكتب في الكيندل وقع اختياري على أورهان ، قرأت هذا الكتاب لأنه أورهان المبدع كما قرأت له في كتابه ألوان أخرى الذي لم أكمله بعد ولأنها اسطنبول التي أعشق هذا الكتاب الذي ما إن تبدأ بقراءة أول صفحة حتى تفوح لك ذاكرة الأمكنة هذا الكتاب المتعم [...]


    • در طول این یک ماه و 13 روزی که مشغول خواندن کتاب بودم، حداقل دو سه باری درباره اش نوشتم و به همه هم خواندنش را توصیه کردم. می توانم ادعا کنم که یکی از بهترین هایی بود که در چند وقت اخیر خواندم. پاموک در ترسیم شهر و بیان خاطراتش به گونه ای باور پذیر موفق عمل کرده است. اگر از آن کسانی [...]


    • It feels very odd to be writing this review now, sitting in a car on my way back home, feeling bored and tired for no particular reason. And out of nowhere this book- which I finished more than a month ago, and entirely gave up on ever being able to write a decent review about- comes to my mind unbidden, as though deeply connected with my present state of mind. This is going to be one of the most personal reviews I’ll ever write, but that’s merely becauseIstanbul: Memories and the City has a [...]


    • کتاب رو تموم کردم و نمی‌تونستم همون طور روی تخت بمونم از شدت خوشی.این کتاب وصف‌نکردنی خوب بود.«اگر آن قدر در شهری زندگی کرده باشیم که واقعی‌ترین و عمیق‌ترین احساسات‌مان را به منظری‌های آن منتقل کنیم، زمانی می‌رسد که خیابان‌ها، تصاویر و چشم‌اندازها همان طور که یک آهنگ، ع [...]


    • Along with The World's Literature group, I have been reading a lot of books set in Turkey this year. Just check out what I've covered so far!One of the best known Turkish authors has to be Orhan Pamuk. I've only managed to read one book of his so far, but there are many more on my to-read list to get to. I actually think reading this autobiography/memoir first will add some understanding to any of his books that I read in the future. It covers his childhood in Istanbul, up through his college ye [...]


    • Pamuk u ovom autobiografskom romanu potpuno iskreno progovara o svom životu - porodici, obrazovanju, vjeri i naposlijetku gradu u kojem je rođen i u kojem je proveo najveći dio svog života. Sve svoje uspomene on veže uz taj grad dajući tako portret Istanbula od svog rođenja pa sve do trenutka kada je odlučio da će se baviti pisanjem. Iskreno progovara o svemu što ga je tištilo, o gradu koji ga je u mladosti gušio i o prodičnim problemima, postepenom siromašenju uzrokovanim očevim [...]


    • Major part of the book describes what some poets, journalists and painters have written or painted about Istanbul during 19th century.But, when I picked this one up after reading My Name is Red, the expectation was to know how Pamuk describes Istanbul and his life in that city, not what some 19th century unknown travellers and century old journalists with difficult names to pronounce had to say. There were some interesting chapters, but we do not buy a highly priced book, printed on quality pape [...]


    • ليس كتابًا هو بل موسوعة أهداها كاتب مرموق لمعشوقته "اسطنبول" فخرجت مليئة بالتفاصيل التي أدهشتني لبساطتها وصدقها وألفتها.ومما زاد من غنى الكتاب الصور الفوتوغرافية واللوحات التي انتشرت بين صفحاته، فكان كل مشهد يصفه الكاتب تجد بجانبه الصورة المعبرة عنه، فشعرت معه أنني قطعت تذ [...]


    • Pamuk adds another layer to Istanbul’s proverbial description as “the bridge between east and west” by showing how the major Istanbul modernists – poet Yahya Kemal and novelist A.H. Tanpinar, new names to me, I have to follow up – derived a poetics of post-imperial ennui and urban decay from the melancholic image of their city recorded or dreamed by travelling French writers in the nineteenth century. “[T]he roots of our hüzün [urban melancholy] are European: the concept was first [...]


    • This is the second book by Pamuk that I have read. I would like to point out that it seems that this book should be read either before or after The Museum of Innocence because I found myself making it notes of where the novel and this memoir collide.I've never been to Istanbul, but now I want to go. What Pamuk does is not only describe his family but a city as a conflict between East and West. While it is not something that my own western city feels, it is somewhat akin to the feeling that Phila [...]


    • الكتاب ممتع، و أظن المشاكسين سيحبون طريقة حديثه عن ذكرياته و عن مدينته و أهله لغاية في أنفسهم، فهذا الباموق مشاكس من الطراز الأول أحب دهاءه و مكره و سخريته و غمزه و لمزه الشريرين الجميل في أورهان شعورك بصدقه حين يتحدث عن مدينته بعيدا عن تلك الرومانسية المتكلفة أو الشوفينية ا [...]


    • ریویوها هم ژانر دارند، این ریویو باب حسرت است. چند سال است ورد زبانم شده «چرا با سابقه‌ی شهری نزدیک به یک قرن، نمی‌توانیم به ’شهر‘ فکر کنیم؟» و این کتاب مثال من است. اگر ترجمه کمی دقت بیشتر داشت چهار ستاره و اگر تصویرهاش معنادارتر بود پنج ستاره داشت. «حزن» را پاموک میسازد، حز [...]


    • This is a duel memoir, that of the author’s first twenty years of life and that of Istanbul during the same period. Pamuk has a poet’s voice. By that, I don’t mean that he uses flowery or metaphoric language, but rather that he has the ability to conjure the abstract into palpable form: the atmosphere of a neighborhood, the bonds in a family, the mood of a people. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book that lacked any plot or narrative tension. I must have been in just the right mood [...]


    • احساسم بهش يك دست نيست. يعني فصل هاييش بود كه خيلي خيلي برام مورد علاقه بودند، و فصل هايي هم داشت كه واقعا هيچ لذتي نمي بردم ازشون و منتظر تموم شدنشون بودم صرفا:)) (بيشتر اون فصل هايي كه توصيفات زياد از مناظر طبيعي داشتند:-")ولي خب، در كل براي من ِ نه اصلا علاقه مند به هيچ چيز مرتبط [...]


    • كان يجب أن أكتب فوراً حين فرغت من قراءة الكتاب ، إلا أن لحظاتي الأخيرة مع الكتاب كانت قبل أن أخلدَ إلى نومٍ لم تكن اسطنبول للأسف من نصيبي في الحلم في الواقع إنه لمن المفارقة الكبيرة أن أقرأ عنها بينما أكنُ لها في عميقي بعض البغض ، فزيارتي الأخيرة لها لم تكن بتلك الزيارة التي ت [...]


    • Ternyata butuh waktu lebih dari satu tahun untuk bisa menyelesaikan membaca buku ini (baca buku aja sampai setahun lebih, apalagi nulisnya yak. Keren deh para penulis itu). Kenapa? Apakah karena tidak menarik? Bukan karena itu, tetapi karena nuanasa huzun atau kemurungan dalam buku ini yang kental banget. Buku ini sendiri adalah memoar dari Orhan Pamuk, penerima Nobel Sastra 2007. Walau memoar, tetapi buku ini sepertnya lebih banyak tentang Istambul itu sendiri. Pamuk sepertinya hendak mengandai [...]


    • This was not, first of all, the book I espected it to be. It was not truly an autobiography of the author, who gave nothing at all away, at least in the context of the west (perhaps it would shock conservative Turks that he apparently had a sexual relationship with a girl as a young man, but I don't know what Turkish mores are, so I shouldn't judge) and gave away little in terms of the city that he was supposedly also biographying. It gave tantalising hints of things, and there were potential th [...]


    • The most enchanting thing about this book is its symmetry. He opens with a statement that from a very young age he suspected that somewhere in the streets of Istanbul, there lived another Orhan so much like him that he could pass for his twin, even his double. In the last chapter, his father apparently led a double life just like in his imagination. Pamuk manages to intermingle the story about Istanbul and himself - reflecting each other along the way. The writing style is mostly visual - his tr [...]


    • About a year ago, when I was brainstorming the topic for my master’s thesis, I stumbled upon the idea of space and identity relationship. Since then, I’ve always been interested in how space and place can affect the formation of one’s self. Reading Istanbul has strengthened that particular idea. Not only describing the physical condition of Istanbul, Orhan Pamuk also wrote about his love-hate relationship with the city. Istanbul isn’t just his home; it is the city that always inspires hi [...]


    • There's really no nice way to say this. One of the deservedly obscure authors he spends a chapter praising is described as being some kind of pedophile. This isn't a pretend metaphor in Lolita, this is Pamuk's loving description of a nobody. If that's not enough, his best description of Istanbul, one of the largest cities today, and, more importantly, in history, is mopery about his apartment and decaying wooden houses near it. To spend a day in the tiny English section of a large bookstore and [...]


    • Were Orhan Pamuk active on Twitter back when he was writing Istanbul: Memories and the City he could have saved himself and his readers a great deal of time and frustration by simply distilling this work down to "Boo fucking hoo #firstworldproblems" and leaving it at that.Instead, we're left to slog through four hundred pages of angsty ennui which purport to represent the zeitgeist of a city that mourns the days it stood at the center of the world but in fact do little more than chronicle the th [...]


    • ای پاموک عزیز شما نشون دادی برای شناخت یک جامعه نیازی نیست آدم جامعه شناس باشه چون انگاری هر خانواده ای بخشی از فرهنگ یک کشور رو به نمایش میذاره و شاید اگه ما سعی کنیم خانواده خودمون رو اصلاح کنیم ( که البته با اصلاح خود شروع میشه) نهایتآ جامعه هست که اصلاح خواهد شد


    • لم أشعر أني أقرأ سيرة ذاتية بقدر ما شعرت و كأني في رحلة ممتعة في مدينة اسطنبول ، و بالرغم من الجو السوداوي الذي أحاط بالرحلة لا أنكر أني وددت ألا تنتهي كنتُ أفهم ببطء أنني أحببتُ اسطنبول لخرائبها و حزنها و عظمتها التي كانت عليها ذات يوم ثم فقدتها


    • كتاب شيق وممتع يكتب فيه اروهان سيرة المدينه الي عاش فيها وعلاقته بها نشأة اروهان في المدينه التي تنهار ومجد الامبراطورية الذي انتهي الشوراع الخربه والبيون المهدمه التي بنبت علي انقاض قصور العثمانين والشوراع الخليفه والاليايات علي البسفور ولد اورهان لعائلة ثريه بدد ابوه وا [...]


    • اول قرائاتى للكاتب التركى اورهان باموق كاتب يشعرك من اول صفحه بانه يحمل هموم وطن يأخذنا فى رحلة الى اسطنبول الماضى والحاضر ويوضح كيف تغيرت التفاصيل من عصر الامبراطورية الى عصر الجمهورية واندثار الزمن الجميل لايمكن اعتبار الكتاب سيرة ذاتية ولا تاريخية ولكن ذكريات وتفاصيل ا [...]


    • English versionmy first Orhan Pamuk's and not my taste at all. It's a mixture of autobiography, history, literature and endless self pitty .


    • A few thoughts of mine, while reading this book:İstanbul / Κωνσταντινούποληyalı / γιαλόςköfte / κεφτές Karagöz and Hacivat / Καραγκιόζης και Χατζηαβάτης puşt/ πούστηςGreek and Turkish language have many things in common.Greeks and Turks have more things in common that differences but it's always the differences that are visible on the surface. anywayPamuk's Istanbul is (as described in the book) a melancholic city, a grey city, a c [...]


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