Istanbul Quotes

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Istanbul: Memories and the City Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk
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Istanbul Quotes Showing 1-30 of 69
“The first thing I learned at school was that some people are idiots; the second thing I learned was that some are even worse. ”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“Life can't be all that bad,' i'd think from time to time. 'Whatever happens, i can always take a long walk along the Bosphorus.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
Hüzün does not just paralyze the inhabitants of Instanbul, it also gives them poetic license to be paralyzed.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“After a time, my hand had become as skilled as my eyes. So if I was drawing a very fine tree, it felt as if my hand was moving without me directly it. As I watched the pencil race across the page, I would look on it in amazement, as if the drawing were the proof of another presence, as if someone else had taken up residence in my body. As I marveled at his work aspiring to become his equal, another part of my brain was busy inspecting the curves of the branches, the placement of mountains, the composition as a whole, reflecting that I had created this scene on a blank piece of paper. My mind was at the tip of my pen, acting before I could think; at the same time it could survey what I had already done. This second line of perception, this ability to analyse my progress, was the pleasure this small artist felt when he looked at the discovery of his courage and freedom. To step outside myself , to know the second person who had taken up residence inside me, was to retrace the dividing line that appeared as my pencil slipped across the paper, like a boy sledding in the snow.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“And before long, the music, the views rushing past the window, my fathers voice and the narrow cobblestone streets all merged into one, and it seemed to me that while we would never find answers to these fundamental questions, it was good for us to ask them anyway.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“If I see my city as beautiful and bewitching, then my life must be so too.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“It was in Cihangir that i first learned Istanbul was not an anonymous multitude of walled-in lives - a jungle of apartments where no one knew who was dead or who was celebrating what - but an archipelago of neighbourhoods in which everyone knew each other.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“My fear was not the fear of God but, as in the case of the whole Turkish secular bourgeoisie, fear of the anger of those who believe in God too zealously(...) I experienced the guilt complex as something personal, originated less from the fear of distancing myself from God than from distancing myself from the sense of community shared by the entire city .”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“Benim için kitap okurken hala önemli olan anlamaktan çok, okuduğum şeye uygun düşler kurmaktır.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“For me it has always been a city of ruins and of end-of-empire melancholy. I’ve spent my life either battling with this melancholy or (like all İstanbullus) making it my own.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“In the beginning the point was not to have a point, to escape the world in which everyone had to have a job, a desk, an office.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“...i have in all honesty believed that two people with similar names must have similar characters, that an unfamiliar word - be it Turkish or foreign - must be semantically similar to a word spelt like it, that the soul of a dimpled woman must carry something of the soul of another dimpled woman i knew before, that all fat people are the same, that all poor people belong to a fraternity about which i know nothing, that there must be a link between peas and Brazil - not just because Brazil is Breziliya in Turkish and the word for pea is bezelye but also because the Brazilian flag has, it seems, an enormous pea on it....”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“البيت مهم بالنسبة لي لأنه مركز العالم في رأسي أكثر من كونه جمال غرف وأغراض”
أورهان باموق, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“To be able to see the Bosphorus, even from afar—for İstanbullus this is a matter of spiritual import that may explain why windows looking out onto the sea are like the mihrabs in mosques, the altars in Christian churches, and the tevans in synagogues, and why all the chairs, sofas, and dining tables in our Bosphorus-facing sitting rooms are arranged to face the view.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“The difference lies in the fact that in Istanbul the remains of a glorious past civilization are everywhere visible. No matter how ill-kept, no matter how neglected or hemmed in they are by concrete monstrosities, the great mosques and other monuments of the city, as well as the lesser detritus of empire in every side street and corner—the little arches, fountains, and neighborhood mosques—inflict heartache on all who live among them. These”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“In our household doubts more troubling than these were suffered in silence. The spiritual void I have seen in so many of Istanbul's rich, Westernised, secularist families is evident in these silences. Everyone talks openly about mathematics, success at school, football and having fun, but they grapple with the most basic questions of existence - love,compassion, religion, the meaning of life, jealousy, hatred - in trembling confusion and painful solitude. They light a cigarette, give their attention to the music on the radio, return wordlessly to their inner worlds.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“I amused myself with mental games in which I changed the focus, deceived myself, forgot altogether what had been troubling me or wrapped in a mysterious haze.
We might call this confused, hazy state melancholy, or perhaps we should call it by its Turkish name, hüzün, which denotes a melancholy that is communal rather than private. Offering no clarity; veiling reality instead, hüzün brings us comfort, softening the view like the condensation on a window when a tea kettle has been spouting steam on winters day. Steamed-up windows make me feel hüzün, and I still love getting up and walking over to those windows to trace words on them with my finger. As I trace out words and figures on the steamy window, the hüzün inside me dissipates, and I can relax; after I have done all my writing and drawings, I can erase it all with the back of my hand and look outside. But the view itself can bring its own hüzün. The time has come to move towards a better understanding of this feeling that the city of Istanbul carries as its fate.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“My prolonged study of these photographs led me to appreciate the importance of preserving certain moments for prosperity, and as time moved forwards I also came to see what a powerful influence these framed scenes exerted over us as we went about our daily lives.
To watch my uncle pose my brother a maths problem, and at the same time to see him in a picture taken thirty-two years earlier; to watch my father scanning the newspaper and trying, with a half-smile, to catch the tail of a joke rippling across the crowded room, and at that very same moment to see a picture of him to me that my grandmother had framed and frozen these memories so that we could weave them into the present.When, in the tones ordinarily preserved for discussing the founding of a nation, my grandmother spoke of my grandfather who had died so young, and pointed at the frames on the tables and the walls, it seemed that she, like me, was pulled in two direction , wanting to get on with life but also longing to capture the moment of perfection, savouring the ordinary life but still honouring the ideal. But even as I pondered these dilemmas-if you plucked a special moment from life and framed it, were you defying death, decay and the passage of time, or were you submitting to them? - I grew very bored with them.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“hüzün, which denotes a melancholy that is communal rather than private. Offering no clarity, veiling reality instead, hüzün brings us comfort, softening the view like the condensation on a window when a teakettle has been spouting steam on a winter’s day. Steamed-up windows make me feel hüzün, and I still love getting up and walking over to those windows to trace words on them with my finger. As I shape words and figures on the steamy window, the hüzün inside me dissipates and I can relax; after I have done all my writing and drawing, I can erase it all with the back of my hand and look outside. But the view itself can bring its own hüzün. It is time to come to a better understanding of this feeling that the city of Istanbul carries as its fate.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“Zengin olmak belki de sürekli bir "gibi yapmak" haliydi.(s.188)”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“When you see a beautiful woman in the street, don’t look at her hatefully as if you’re about to kill her and don’t exhibit excessive longing either; just give her a little smile, avert your eyes, and walk on [1974]. Taking”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“Whenever I find myself talking of the beauty and the poetry of the Bosphorus and Istanbul’s dark streets, a voice inside me warns against exaggeration, a tendency perhaps motivated by a wish not to acknowledge the lack of beauty in my own life. If I see my city as beautiful and bewitching, then my life must be so too. A”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“Tužna projekcija života za pjesnika je primamljivija od samog života.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“ESAELP GNITTIPS ON

This mysterious decree would incite me to defy it and spit on the ground at once, but because the police were stationed two steps away in front of the Governor's Mansion, I'd just stare at it uneasily instead. Now I began to fear that spit would suddenly climb out of my throat and land on the ground without my even willing it. But as I knew, spitting was mostly a habit of grown-ups of the same stock as those brainless, weak-willed, insolent children who were always being punished by my teacher. Yes, we would sometimes see people spitting on the streets, or hawking up phlegm because they had no tissues, but this didn't happen often enough to merit a decree of this severity, even outside the Governor's Manson. Later on, when I read about the Chinese spitting pots and discovered how commonplace spitting was in other parts of the world, I asked myself why they'd gone to such lengths to discourage spitting in Istanbul, where it had never been popular.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“Melling’s is an insider’s eye. But because the İstanbullus of his time did not know how to paint themselves or their city—indeed, had no interest in doing so—the techniques he brought with him from the West still give these candid paintings a foreign air. Because he saw the city like an İstanbullu but painted it like a clear-eyed Westerner, Melling’s Istanbul is not only a place graced by hills, mosques, and landmarks we can recognize, it is a place of sublime beauty.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“I’ve never left Istanbul, never left the houses, streets, and neighborhoods of my childhood.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“When there is not a breath of wind, the waters sometimes shudder as if from inside and take on the finish of washed silk.”
Orhan Pamuk, Along the Bosphorus
“Like most Istanbul Turks I had little interest in Byzantium as a child. I associated the word with spooky, bearded, black-robed Greek Orthodox priests, with the aqueducts that still ran through the city, with the Hagia Sophia and the red brick walls of old churches. To me, these were remnants of an age so distant there was little need to know about it. Even the Ottomans who conquered Byzantium seemed very far away.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“Writers like Pierre Loti, by contrast, make no secret of loving Istanbul and the Turkish people for the opposite reason: for the preservation of their eastern particularity and their resistance to becoming western.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City
“Okul denen yerin aslında temel soruları cevaplamadığını, yalnızca onları hayatın gereği olarak benimsememize yardım ettiğini çıkarmıştım.”
Orhan Pamuk, Istanbul: Memories and the City

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