Ratih's Reviews > Istanbul: Kenangan Sebuah Kota

Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk
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's review
Feb 22, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: favorites
Read from February 22 to March 01, 2010

** spoiler alert ** Title : Istanbul: Memories and the City
Writer : Orhan Pamuk
Year : 2005
Language : Turkish/English (translated into Indonesian)

This is the third book of Orhan Pamuk I’ve read so far. It is interesting because it’s a kind of biography of himself revealing not only his past, but also the grow of the city in which he has been living for years and which shaped his life and characters.

He starts with his childhood, imagining himself having a twin brother in another house. It is him, I would say, but he feels that he never be that one. He feels different from the one in the other house. That feeling then drives him to be convinced that later on he has another life, another world. He is likely to live in two worlds, of which the one side is his world of art. When he draws or paints something (mostly scenery of Istanbul, Bosporus in particular), he feels like he exists in another world, far from his real life. He continues to feel so; even when he’s with his friends he can be different persons.

The best thing here is how the city he lives in kind of shaped his characters, sadness, and sorrow. He thinks that the fall of Ottoman brings the former kingdom to the fall Istanbul, and the fall of Istanbul brings him to the fall of himself. He’s grown up within and with the sorrow of the city. The sorrow, poverty, and backwardness of Istanbul are undeniable after the last war. He reveals the irony in which the people of Istanbul feels that being westernized and putting aside Islam as their religion are the only way to recover from their suffering of the fall. The people of Istanbul feel that being ‘western people’ are the best way to be back to the glory of their country as the ‘new republic’. Yet, they can’t really be the ‘western people’ because they are not western people in any sense. Silly, they even see the true Muslims who implement the real Islam are the backward people.

This book is very much interesting and amazing in that it can honestly state the tone of the writer and his personal feeling towards his beloved city. He’s not only honest in putting forwards his personal life and characters, but also in telling the secret of his family. By reading this book, I can precisely see how Turkey is, how the people are, how the growth of Istanbul is, and how the whole of the last civilization of Islam becomes.

Rating: 3.5
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Reading Progress

02/26/2010 page 300
53.29% "is it so hard to be a Turk?? why on earth they thought (and perhaps, think) that being westernized is the only way to console their heart??"

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Roos (new)

Roos *gelar tiker nungguin repiu*

Ratih heheheh...tungguu...sabar...baru baca dikit..ntar kalo dah kelar bakalan aku geber habis soal ni buku di blog-ku...
btw, itu buku ternyata "pengakuan dosa-nya" si pamuk hhehehehe...tapi aku suka foto2nya...hmm...ga sabar buat baca lebih lanjut.

message 3: by Roos (new)

Roos jangan di Blog doang dong, posting di Goodreads juga, biar aku bisa baca...hehehehe.

message 4: by Roos (new)

Roos Waaaaaaaaaaaaahhh Bravo Ratih. Vote.

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