The Black Book
I have been encouraged to read Orhan Pamuk's book: The Black Book by friends and colleagues alike ...
the reason for delaying it from last year was my up to the eyes involvement in my own work of fiction ... however, I tarry no longer.
I read the introduction with interest and I note that the author: is Turkish and comes from Istanbul .. and he has been much in the news recently due to his his literary talent ... however he has had a spot of bother with the
Turkish authorities due to anti-Turkish writings ... so I read in the Press ... I gather his name has been
cleared and all is well in Orhan Pamuk's world of books and great writing.
The Black Book, is concerned with journalism and murder and describes the touching plot about a columnist who was gunned down ... so it seems ... coming out of the cinema. Orhan Pamuk has many references to
Hollywood Greats .. and I note that his favourites are
Humphrey Bogart, Greta Garbo, Edward G Robinson to name but 3
There is a wonderful alphabet game where the writer lines letters of the alphabet with his Turkish code and culture ... you must read it for yourself. The translation apparently has received great praise and Maureen Freely has met the author and he approves of the translation of his work ... at the end of the novel there is an attachment which states the difficulties in Turkish translation as many words and/or phrases have to be grouped together to create a single word ... unlike English.
The descriptions of Turkey are evocative and I recall, Bakirkoy a district in Istanbul where I used to live with vivid clarity .... Edirne is wonderfully described ... and the streets of Istanbul ... are jumping off the page with the
excitement of the author to communicate the vividness of his imaginative vision of his native Turkey.
I note all the references: to: Retirement: Old Age: Young People: Grandmothers and Grandfathers ... etc., and at certain key points I wondered where he was going with all this rap! I gather its leading up to a conclusion at the end where to be 70 something and still in bed with the wife is to be looked forward to ...
Some references to brothels in Istanbul are amusing ...as my personal experience was strictly the
Mosque ... and the seedy side was missing. thanks to the author ... that is now completed, i.e. that part of my education in Turkish literary history.
Its a work of great accomplishment and I took a bank holiday plus to read it all ... even at this moment, I am reeling and a rocking after this marathon ... but I assure you, its worthwhile. serious reading ....keep on reading .... Orhan Pamuk, great novelist and prize winner on the international literary platform ...