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Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan…
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Istanbul: Memories and the City (2003)

by Orhan Pamuk

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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
I read this book because I wanted to read about Mr Pamuk's family & personal history. Istanbul in itself does not interest me much, but some of the things he wrote about are truly fascinating. He is also a hilarious memoirist, I really enjoyed reading some parts of this book. I did not, however, enjoy reading straight history about Ottoman emperors or reports on what other people said about Istanbul. The only exceptions would be the newspaper columnists & the guy who wrote the Istanbul Encyclopedia. But the other parts of pure history & review almost made me not want to finish the book. Were it not for him turning again to his family & personal story, I probably wouldn't have. I really do prefer him to throw facts out here & there, not all at once. Overall, when he's on, he's on, & I enjoyed most of it. I also loved the photographs & wrote down so many notes in order to further learn about Instanbul & Turkish writers. ( )
  mvbdlr | Aug 2, 2014 |
Took me forever to read, but the author's writing was addicting, in small doses. The melancholy of living among the ruins of a lost empire was well portrayed, as was the angst of a young man. ( )
  carladp | Mar 28, 2014 |
This book is a memoir of Istanbul from Orhan Pamuk's perspective. This book is so thorough that I used it when planning a trip to Istanbul. I highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Istanbul or those who want a deep understanding of the city and its citizens. ( )
  Marcella2010 | Mar 4, 2014 |
Pamuk ardently loves Istanbul come what may. His warm abode.A place where his childhood memories are masked in every paved stones and town structures.Fated to this predestined city his aspirations molded into becoming a writer and not an artist.

I'll etch a comprehensive review when my age is equivalent to that of Pamuk’s 58 years. On behalf of my 30 years of being on this planet, I vocalize my immense repulse for melancholic reminiscence. I sternly adhere to selective amnesia when it comes to my past barricading the battlegrounds of nostalgia and ruthless gloominess. It sensed similar to one of the obligatory elocutions of "my old days" by an elderly relative at my frightful family reunions or the nerve wrecking yakking with previous acquaintances.
( )
  Praj05 | Apr 5, 2013 |
Orhan Pamuk’s art reflects his view of Istanbul. When he was young, he sought joy and found it in painting a pretty view. There came a point when he matured that such painting no longer brought him the same type of simple pleasure he found in finishing a work. The pain and frustration he felt when struggling with a painting led him to abandon painting rather than explore new and unknown territories with his art. He is however a true artist and his gift finds mature expression in words if not paint. His medium remains Istanbul.

He walks through back streets of Istanbul to escape pain in his own life- where art is discouraged as a profession as it does not put bread on the table. This is a far cry from the civilization of art and abundance that thrived not so long ago on the very streets he walks. This contrast creates a gentle melancholy that hangs in the air of the city and seeps into the hearts of it's inhabitants.

In his walks, Pamuk is not most drawn to the remaining monuments of the Ottoman empire preserved by the country, but to sad ghosts that are forgotten in back streets that lean and are propped up and patched by the families that inhabit them.

Pamuk’s love for his city is pure in that it does not transform the object of his affection. He loves the city for what is and not for a (westernized) ideal of itself. It is the readers view of those back streets and of their place in the city that are transformed.
( )
  aylin1 | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (38 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orhan Pamukprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Miró, CarlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piqué, EmmaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The beauty of a landscape resides in its sadness.

Ahmet Rasim
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To my father, Gündüz Pamuk (1925-2002)
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A portrait of one of the world's most complex and diverse cities interweaves the history of Istanbul with observations and reflections on the city's landmarks, art, people, institutions, and great spaces.

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