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Pinhan” dedi Dürrü Baba. Sesi yaprak kımıldatmayan saba rüzgarı gibi doldu odanın içine. “Pinhan!” dedi çocuk üst üste üç kere. İlk kez bu ismi söylerken farkında olmadan el çırptı; omuzları sevinçle oynadı; yüzünde gonca güller açtı. İkinci kez söylerken duruldu, az evvelki taşkınlığından utandı. Üçünkü kez söylerken, ateş bastı dilini, damağını; dudaklarında buruk bir tat kaldı. Beti benzi kül kesildi. O zaman Dürri Baba, kollarını iki yana açıp, olan biteni izleyen dervişlere doğru dönerek, “Nicedir adını bekler dururdu. Velhasıl adı da onu. İşte bugün kavuştular birbilerine. Adı Pinhan olsun bundan böyle” dedi.

Ve bu şekilde akıp gidiyor kapak yazısı siyah bir fon üzerinde…mistik kokular saça saça. 1998 Mevlana Büyük Ödülünü alan Pinhan, Elif Şafak’ın ilk kitabıdır. Bir başlangıçtır. Şu günlerde etrafı kasıp kavuran “Aşk” gibi romanlarının temellerinin atıldığı sağlam bir zemindir Pinhan.

Elif Şafak’ın kitaplarında bir adam, bir kadın, bir olay, bir zaman, bir yer ve bunlara bağlı giriş, gelişme, sonuç aramak yersizdir. Çünkü kahramanlar birden fazladır ve her biri daha kahraman olmak için savaşır. Olaylar içiçe geçmiştir, birini diğerinden ayırırsanız yarım kalır bir yanınız. Zaman esnektir, geniştir, düz bir çizgide akıp gitmez hiçbir zaman. Sandığınız yer olduğunuz yer değildir, yer kavramı somutluğunu yitirir çoğu zaman. Ve kimi zaman bizim son diye addettiklerimizden Şafak büyük bir başlangıç yaratır. İşte böyle bir roman Pinhan. Bir dervişin derin mavi gözlerinin koca bir dünyaya bedel olduğunun, bir elma vesilesiyle başlayan bir tekke hayatının, hem fiziksel hem de ruhsal açıdan kendini bulmaya çalışan Pinhan’ın, ayrılıklar (farklılıklar, zıtlıklar) arasında bir bütünlük sağlamaya çalışan mahalle sakinlerinin, tasavvufun, gerçekliğin, gerçek olmayanın hikayesidir Pinhan. Elif Şafak kitaplarında izler bırakır bizlere, ipuçları sergiler sayfalar arasında, böylece adı yer almasa dahi bu kesin Elif Şafak romanı dedirtir bize.

İşte bu romanında da Mevlana’dan, Ömer Hayyam’dan yaptığı alıntılar, birbirinden farklı, güçlü ve bir o kadar da sıradışı karakterleri, hemen hemen bahsi geçen her bir kişinin ve meydana gelen her bir olayın er ya da geç birbirine bağlanması Şafak’ın parmak izleridir sayfalarda bıraktığı. Sonuç olarak, ben bu kitabı okurken çok keyif aldım. Zaman zaman kayboldum kitabın içinde, nerede olduğumu kestiremedim. Zaman zaman onlardan biri oldum akıp gittim her bir satırla birlikte. Özellikle Elif Şafak’ın tarzını seven, biraz da mistik öğelere, somutun soyutlandığı kitaplara meraklı olan herkese tavsiye edebileceğim bir kitap Pinhan.

Keyifli okumalar dilerim.

H

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I decided to make some changes in the way of my blogging, preferring to appeal to both Turkish and English readers, hence today i just introduced the first entry in Turkish which is a book review. I won’t go for the word for word translation; instead i will give a short summary what has been talked above.

Accordingly, in this entry i reviewed a book by one of my favourite Turkish writers Elif Shafak. The book “Pinhan” is her first book getting the Mevlana award for her. I consider this book as a baseline where she laid the foundation for her newly released and quite popular books such as “Aşk”.

In her books you cannot find only one hero, heroine or villain because everyone strives to be more hero or to be more villain, or you can’t easily decide which event is more significant, or you can’t simply determine  the main place and the time of the book, hence it is hard to find  a routine introduction, development and a finalization part, since Shafak likes to deduce new starts from the ends thus all these items (and many more) are just interwoven. And Pinhan is one of these books.

It is mainly about a person named Pinhan who enters a lodge to discover himself both physically and spiritually, then the chain of events starts. We are given the chance to closely observe the lives of lodge and dervish, to witness spiritual journeys within a self, we are introduced to a whole city where the citizens think that they are punished by God as some misbehaved among them, we are made to taste both the eartly and the heavenly love. We see the bad in good and the good in bad simply.

Main feature of the book is the diversifications and varieties within a whole maintained throughout the whole story as it is clear that Shafak likes to escape from standardizations. The book also carries the traces of sufism and has the footprints of Mevlana which are the main hints for Shafak literary style.

In short, Pinhan is quite an absorbing one where you can easily lose yourself and when you find out yourself again, you realize how far you take a step.

Have a nice read.

H

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elif_safak_ask_kitabi_I am a big fan of Elif Şafak. I read almost all of her books till now but when i saw her recent novel “Aşk” (Love) on the shelves of bookstores, i was a bit disappointed and felt reluctant to read it because just assessing the title and the book cover (all in pink with a light pink heart on the front cover), i just thought that it is another classical love story prevailing on the shelves lately.

So many people around me read the book within months, so many people were still reading it around me on the bus or the underground, so many people were carrying the book in their hands or handbags while passing by me. And last week suddenly i just went to bookstore and bought the book to find out what was there attracting so many people’s attention. I read the book in 5 days (415 pages) and i read it slowly on purpose in order not to see “the end” and i came to see that all i had was prejudice against the book as it was totally different from what i had thought!

No need to flatter or glorify the writing skills of Elif Şafak as it is already well-known especially in Turkey and she is considered under the same category with Orhan Pamuk who has already won a nobel prize. And again in this book she was just excellent. The storyline, the characters, the choice of words, the decriptions, everything was just outstanding carrying the trace of perfection. I usually draw/mark the lines that i like in a book but i didn’t/couldn’t in this book because each and every sentence was just an excellent quote.

The topicline of the book is LOVE as suggested by the title. But it is not just a admin_9735071063earthly love occuring between a woman and a man; it is rather about a holy love under islamic mysticism/sufism. And mostly the eartly love is interwoven with the mystic love.

There is a novel within the novel so two different stories are processed at the same time going on at different time points and at different places. One is talking about the present, about a married woman with three children living in Boston, about her searches for love, and her struggles to get rid of the vicious circle in her entire life, and the other tells us about the past, about Mevlana and his soulmate Şems living in Konya. And these two stories are just to be intersected by a mysterious writer (A. Z. Zahara) teaching the reader the most basic elements of love, even proving that the two people can love each other without seeing or hearing one another at all.

Unfortunately i don’t have the book in English version, and in fact i’m not sure whether it is published in English or not yet. Still i want to share some passages with you which i loved, however i will provide the translation myself at least to give you some slight idea of the meaning:

Aklın kimyası ile Aşkın kimyası başkadır. Akıl temkinlidir. Korka korka atar adımlarını. ‘Aman sakın kendini’ diye tembihler. Halbuki aşk öyle mi? Onun tek dediği: ‘Bırak kendini, ko gitsin!’ Akıl kolay kolay yıkılmaz. Aşk ise kendini yıpratır, harap düşer. Halbuki hazineler ve defineler yıkıntılar arasında olur. Ne varsa harap bir kalpte var! (Page. 95)

The chemistry of mind and the chemistry of heart are just different. The mind is just cautious. It moves with hesitant steps. Always warns ‘Just be careful’. But what about the love? Only thing love advices is ‘Let it go!’  The mind is difficult to demolish. However, love overwears itself, falls into ruins. But the treasury is found among the ruins. A devasted heart worths anything!

No matter how much i try to describe the book, no matter how much i try to translate some lines, no matter how much i sound enthusiastic about it, i am just unable to render the true and the exact power of the book. What can i say?! The love is hidden between the pages…Just go and get it!

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It was such a sunny day today and unfortunately i missed the quarter of it waking up almost at noon as i slept quite late last night losing myself in Breaking Dawn. As soon as i opened my eyes in the morning (i mean at noon :P), not minding my starving innerself, i attempted to go on where i stopped last night. Just 1oo pages were left and the excitement was at the peak! Rather than reading in bed and starving and getting lazy whole day, i got out of the bed, got dressed and went to the nearest starbucks so that i could enjoy both eating and reading at the same time!

While sipping from my coffe latte and hearing the sound of water flow in the small pool in front of starbucks, the real world slowly lost the reality and i was among the vampires again. The rest might contain some spoilers so if you haven’t read the book yet, you better stop here 🙂

What i saw within the pages…Edward Cullen (as dashing as ever), Jacob Black (as the warmest and softest friend on earth), Bella Cullen (the new surname after the marriage, a new-born vampire with a strong ability, a baby born soon after the wedding in an unusual way), Nessie (A new and cute member of the family, little daughter of Edward and Bella who erases the Jacob’s love for Bella in a blink as it is found out that Nessie is the soulmate of Jacob, who also causes a threat from Volturi),strong family bonds, friendship in every form (between vampires, between humans, between vampires and wolfmen)…what is more…love (forever), passion (between burning skins), jelousy (like a heavy stone in heart), but the most important is the happy end:)

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Hope you realize how tight i am hugging the book in the photo due to two reasons: 1) I didn’t want to end it so soon 2) i wanted to see what would happen in the end so impatiently. Such a controversy 😛

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A small room with a window, a table with a chair, a bed, a lamb, some papers, some photographs…This is the place where an old man, with a blank mind except a few memories, is kept…

It starts with a simple, plain story about this old man. Then other characters come on the scene and the story gets accelarated. It sounds like a story within the story. Each and every character is somehow connected with one another, the old man being the key point…

An unknown story, an open end to be shaped by the reader… Abundant details, all to be used at some place sooner or later in the book…. Quite random, usual, even routine, still next page calls for the reader…

Reading some other works by Paul Auster, I would rate this one as 3/5 since it doesn’t create enough curiousity for the reader…

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 Do you believe in coincidences? Well i do…at least I started to do after reading this short but rich-in-content book!

The Red Notebook consists of 4 sections which are 1)The Red Notebook 2)Why Write? 3)Accident Report 4) It Don’t Mean a Thing and all telling about the coincidences in life which are frequently ignored or not paid attention by most of us. The content is based on facts, real events from the writer’s or his friends’s lives/experiences which are narrated by himself like a fictive short story captivating the reader.

The attracting part is the one where he explains simply yet strikingly how he became a writer, what the basic motive behind this decision…One night after a baseball game, he has a chance to get the autograph of his favourite baseball player, but unfortunately neither the player nor himself has a pen at the time. He keeps asking everyone around for a pen but he cannot find and fell into a helpless situation since his dream player is just in front of him but he cannot take even an autograph. The player says sorry and leaves the stadium leaving him behind helpless. Being a 8-year old kid with a devastated heart at the time, Auster cannot supress his tears and keeps crying all through the way home. Since that night he never goes out without carrying a pen in his pocket not to get caught unprepared again. He says he never plans to do anyhing with the pen he carries, but having a pen in your pocket, most probably one day you will feel like using it. That is how i became a writer he mentions.

In The Red Book, Paul Auster puts forward how the chain of coincidences plays an important role in our lives no matter we are aware of it or not and events are kind of connected to one another  even though we cannot realize it at the first glance.

I read the book in Turkish. I liked especially its simplicity. Simple, random, every-day events are narrated in such a way that keeps the reader captivated and appreciating till the end. So deserves a 5/5!

P.S.: In the bookstore I bought also a film magazine together with THE RED NOTEBOOK and soon i realized the giveaway of the magazine was a red notebook in which i already started to take notes:)

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music-of-chance1What would you give away to gain your freedom back?!

It is the story of a man, his stand to life, his approach to his family, his point of view about the happenings and his patience with the series of events that he is exposed to…

Nasha looks like a lonely man being left by his wife and leaving his only daughter to his sister to be taken care of. He works as a fireman till he finds out that he is inherited some fortune as a result of his father’s death, whom he has never known about. After this relatively lucky event (according to him), he spares some of the money for his daughter’s future and the rest for the feeling of freedom to be led by himself…

He quits his job soon afterwards and hits himself on the roads, new and strange and feeling his car as his home more and more day by day unchaining himself at the same time from a routine-based settled life cycle…

This is when he meets Pozzi and the really interesting part of the book takes a start. Although Pozzi looks just like a child to him by his appearance, he soon finds out that he is an assertive card player. At this point their roads (fates) intersect on the same ambition in order for Pozzi to earn more money and for Nasha to maintain lately gained freedom he has been drenched in so far…

After a card game they participiate (Pozzi as the player and Nasha as the investor), as they consume all the money at the end and as they still owe some amount, they are hired by the other rich players as the constructers (to construct a WALL), which constitutes the main part of the book. After this point Nasha loses his control over the events, the people, the environment, his life and himself…

This was the first book i read by Paul Auster and was not my own choice but the Book Club’s. It was a translation book (I read it in Turkish) and although subject matter is a bit different, I enjoyed the book.

So my rate is 4/5!

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