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New life vs. old life
1.       trip
297 posts
 08 Apr 2013 Mon 09:39 pm

Merhaba! Yes, I have been reading another Orhan Pamuk novel -- "The New Life" -- so if this offends you, please be warned. But what I want to talk about is not really Pamuk but rather a thought he inspired. Alameda once said here that Pamuk writes about change, and this is especially true in "The New Life." He seems to mourn the passing of traditional Turkish ways, traditional Turkish products, traditional Turkish thought -- and the influx of Western ways. (I say "seems" because it´s sometimes hard to tell with Pamuk.) I happened to finish this novel as I was returning from a trip to visit relatives in a small town in Missouri. Although my husband and I are happy to see the progress being made in this small town -- the economy is thriving, there are many shops and restaurants -- we also mourn the passing of the small-town ways we knew as children. The small grocery stores, now replaced by the Wal-Mart Superstore. The small cafes where you could get home-canned green beans cooked with bacon (apologies, my Muslim friends), and cornbread that wasn´t sweet like cake, and berry pies with flaky crust just like your grandmother used to make. Now there is a McDonald´s and a Burger King and a KFC and a Ruby Tuesday. We found one old-time cafe on our trip and were overjoyed. Does this sound like Pamuk´s Osman searching for New Life Caramels?! I understand that there is an added anger in Turkey that so much of the new comes from the West. But corporate America has a stranglehold on tradition here, too. Maybe what we mourn is not all that different really.

Please tell me what you miss in a changing Turkey. Foods, games, products, anything. I am very interested to hear.

Teşekkürler!

ümitli and mom4maddi liked this message
2.       alameda
3499 posts
 08 Apr 2013 Mon 09:46 pm

Yes, it is the time of drastic change. You know, you don´t have to shop at Walmart, I don´t go to Big Box stores at all. 

Although I live in the SF Bay Area, we still have small businesses here. It is sad to see all the development, particularly of ugly buildings with no yards. 

I think what he touches on is the change we all feel disgusted by. 

trip liked this message
3.       mom4maddi
64 posts
 09 Apr 2013 Tue 04:08 am

 

Quoting trip

Merhaba! Yes, I have been reading another Orhan Pamuk novel -- "The New Life" -- so if this offends you, please be warned. But what I want to talk about is not really Pamuk but rather a thought he inspired. Alameda once said here that Pamuk writes about change, and this is especially true in "The New Life." 

 

I love to read and although I have heard of Orhan Pamuk, I have never read anything by this author. Now not only do I have a book title, I also have an idea of what it is about. Thanks for the recommendation!

4.       trip
297 posts
 09 Apr 2013 Tue 11:39 am

Quote: mom4maddi

I love to read and although I have heard of Orhan Pamuk, I have never read anything by this author. Now not only do I have a book title, I also have an idea of what it is about. Thanks for the recommendation!

Rica ederim! You are welcome! This is just my opinion, but I think the best Pamuk book to start with is "My Name Is Red." When I read it, I thought it was very complicated, but compared with his others, it seems straightforward. And if you are interested in the days of the Ottoman Empire, you will like it very much. Pamuk is very good at describing Istanbul -- his characters are always walking all over the city. "My Name Is Red" lets you walk through 16th-century Istanbul!

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