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Posts Tagged ‘Elif Şafak’

Nowadays I am so carried away from the reality in a world of books, the last one being “Firarperest” by Elif Shafak. Shafak’s books are just like freshly baked desserts always appealing my taste in a way or another! Her being my favourite female writer in Turkish literature, time to time i tend to google her to know more about her, to see what her pluses are comparing with other writers, or to find a way out when i am densely lost in thoughts about how to be a good writer!

During these searches, i came across her official website, which is available both in Turkish and English, and contains short reviews of her books, her bibliography, interviews with her published in various newspapers and articles penned down by her every week in a Turkish newspaper…There is also a section where you can drop messages to her (although she is not able to check her mails regularly, surely someone replies the reader-mails – -proven by experience ; )

For those who like her style and to get to know more about her, this site is a well to dig deeper!

Happy reading,

Choti

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Twitter is a site which i rarely use since i believe that it is useless unless there exists a spesific purpose such as promoting something that you are into, let it be a site, a book, a place, etc. Otherwise i don’t think anyone would be interested in what i’m doing at the moment (May be i’m wrong about it, and if this is the case, please enlighten me!)

However, yesterday twitter became one of my favourite sites as i came across Elif Shafak’s page on it by chance. Following her on Twitter (not what she eats and drinks but what she writes and reads) seemed so charming to me as she is my role-model as a writer, and the best event of the day was the news that her new book “Firarperest” had now taken its place on the shelves (in Turkey). Hearing that my mouth became so watery to get it ASAP! (ASAP = As soon as possible here has the meaning of ‘as soon as my twins let me’). 😀

Happy Reading,

Choti

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 Last night i managed to go to a bookstore after a long time to check what is new and what has changed on the shelves! And surprisingly i came across with the English version of Elif Shafak’s last book “Aşk” under the title “40 Rules of Love”.

Reading its Turkish version and adoring the book itself, it immediately caught my attention and i gave myself some time to sit and view some passages from the book. And at first glance (as i am not able to go into a much detailed reading) it seems the English version also has the capacity to give the same delight to the readers or even more!

By the way, i should say that i love the book cover with its oriental motifs…

Here is the link of an online newspaper where you can find an interview with Shafak regarding the book.

Have a nice read!

H

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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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