Along the Bosphorus (A Vintage Short)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A Vintage Shorts Travel Selection
The Nobel Prize–winning novelist Orhan Pamuk reminisces on growing up on the banks of the mysterious Bosphorus in Istanbul.
From the ghostly yalis, splendid waterside mansions built by the great Ottoman families during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to the crowds of vessels—Russian frigates, rickety fishing boats, and ferries—that plied its waters, Pamuk takes readers on a tour of the great river. A selection from the shimmering and evocative Istanbul: Memories and the City, “Along the Bosphorus” is the essential guide to the city’s watery way.
An eBook short.
forefront of his country’s writers into the arena of world literature. Through the single act of reading a book, a young student is uprooted from his old life and identity. Within days he has fallen in love with the luminous and elusive Janan; witnessed the attempted assassination of a rival suitor; and forsaken his family to travel aimlessly through a nocturnal landscape of traveler’s cafes and apocalyptic bus wrecks. As imagined by Pamuk, the result is a wondrous marriage of the intellectual
at the silver moonlight playing on the water and savor the music wafting across the sea from a distant rowboat. I cannot pick up his Bosphorus Moonscapes without a distinct sorrow at never having had the chance to witness its passions and its silences at first hand, and I enjoy seeing how this writer’s intense nostalgia almost blinds him to the dark and evil undercurrents of his lost paradise. On moonlit nights, when the rowboats gathered in a still patch of sea and the musicians fell silent,
sixties—my mother, father, brother, and I were living in a small Bosphorus-facing apartment in my grandfather’s building in Cihangir. I was in the last year of primary school, so I was eleven years old. About once a month, I would set my alarm clock (with the image of a bell on it) for a few hours before dawn, waking up in the last hours of the night. The stove would have been put out before bedtime and I couldn’t light it on my own, so to keep myself warm on a winter’s night, I would go into the
perhaps even the rate at which the world was turning; I counted it and in so doing turned the giant hulk into something ordinary. And not just the Soviet ship: By counting all ships “of note” I could reassert my picture of the world and my own place within it. So it was true, what they taught us in school: The Bosphorus was the key, the heart of the geopolitical world, and this was why all the nations of the world and all their armies and most especially the Russians wanted to take possession of
newspapers and drinking coffee, but the rest of the luckless twenty thousand are still waiting for someone to pull them out of the depths. This collision occurred just below Fatih Bridge, the second Bosphorus bridge; it’s the first bridge that İstanbullus prefer when committing suicide. While writing this book I spent quite a bit of time in archives reading the very newspapers I’d read as a child, and in a paper that came out around the time I was born, I found many articles about another form