Friday, 16 December 2011

The Bastard of Istanbul

Have I ever told you about how Istanbul is my favorite city to date?
I know for a fact that I want to live there. I went there quite a few years ago, and it never left me. I loved that it was so many things at the same time. I know, most cities are like that- they are different things to different people, but that's usually with residents. I was a tourist with my parents to Istanbul for like five days, at a time when vacations meant only one thing to me- shopping; yet despite being so one track minded I saw the multi-dimensionality of the city because it was over flowing with it. Since then, it’s just one of those things that I have wanted- to live in Istanbul.
Although this desire has never left me, I was re-reminded of it by this book I'm reading- The Bastard of Istanbul , by Elif Shafak.

If you haven't heard of it, it’s okay neither had I- I just found it in one of my book shelves, while trying to find something, anything new to read. The aim of the author, as far as I have understood is to bring the Turkish and Armenian perspectives regarding their shared history into a dialogue that is mutually __________ (there is a perfect word, and somehow I feel it has to do with Jesus, but I can't remember what it is). 
 So its interesting, and of course, the city seems more charismatic and mysterious than ever, since its obvious that the author is in love with its predictable unpredictability. Istanbul is one of the main protagonists of the book; the novel is pretty much a long love letter to the city in the guise of interlinked stories and pasts of two families of rival backgrounds.
BTW- I had no idea that the Turks and Armenians shared an India/Pakistan type history, did you? 

I liked quite a few passages in the book, but what stuck with me is this line, which I don’t think is an original, because it was introduced in the book as an old saying type- 

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions"

Shit! I was just looking for an image to put with this post, and I haven't finished the novel- I would've today and while looking for the image I accidentally read the blooody secret of the book that hasn't been revealed. Great.


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