Istanbul: Memories of a City Paperback – 6 Apr 2006
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"'This evocative book succeeds at both its tasks. It is one of the most touching childhood memoirs I have read in a very long time; and it makes me yearn - more than any glossy tourist brochure could possibly do - to be once again in Istanbul.' Noel Malcom, Sunday Telegraph 'An extraordinary and transcendentally beautiful book... It is a long time since I have read a book of such crystalline originality, or one that moved me so much.' Katie Hickman"
Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's winner of the Nobel Prize and author of My Name is Red, is the perfect guide to his home city, Istanbul.See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
This book is very a personal reflection on the author's notion of Istanbul - as much an idea or concept as much as a place - developed during his childhood and adolescence from the 50's through to the 70's.
We start with the author's first memories: the tall house entirely occupied by one (fascinating) extended family; his father and brother, inheritors of his grandfather's fortune, determined to fritter it away in one business disaster of the next; his long suffering mother; his father possessed of an almost fatal attraction for other women; and his grand mother, the true matriarchal anchor of the family. We end, in the 70's, with a row between Orphan and his mother and the book concludes with Orphan's declaration that he is going to be a writer. And in between we are treated to a wonderful exercise in writing and remembrance.
We begin to understand Istanbul as Orphan did himself. An important feature of his childhood were the black and white films that he was taken to as a young child. As an adult Orphan sees Istanbul, exclusively, in black and white. And the text is accompanied by a whole series of atmospherics black and white photographs.Read more ›
There is a crucial concept, Pamuk tells us, needed to inform our experience of this place. It provides a clarifying lens that not only magnifies and intensifies, but also interprets. In Turkish it's called hüzün, which roughly translates as melancholy. But it is not the melancholy of melancholia. It is not unhappiness, and is far removed from depression or anything else clinical. Orhan Pamuk returns to this word and its meaning throughout the text, but usually to skirt around its core, to illustrate rather than define. As I read Istanbul, the more I was convinced I was dealing with an idea that spanned both humanity and humility along one axis, married with reflection and mortality along another.
The concept explains why this city, when seen through foreigner's eyes, has been either a comment on history, a judgment on squalor, or a romance on the exotic. Whether it's the engravings of Melling or the words of Flaubert, Western visitors have tended to exaggerate, to concentrate on things the locals take for granted, whilst ignoring those that fire them.Read more ›
The book holds all the contradictions that you see in Istanbul. Despite all the colours, joy and beauty you find there, you still feel some sort of sadness. This book describes this sadness over the Ottoman Empire, you can feel this `melancholy' as the word used in the book in each chapter of it, in the author's childhood, in other writers' books about Istanbul, in the paintings described in the book, even in the family relations with others and the westernization process of Istanbul. You can feel the love this author holds for his city to the degree that the sadness he feels for it covers every aspect of his life.
The book describes in depth what has been written about Istanbul. It analyses the Western view of Istanbul and the Istanbullus' view of their city. It is true that outsiders see the city from a different point of view. What attracts them is different than what attracts you as a local citizen. It is surprising - and it is true till this moment- how cities like Istanbul try to satisfy the West. If something is not considered western- or does not get acceptance from the West, it is changed immediately. That is why many of the city's `pictures' or `traditions' were replaced by others.
The last section in this book is the part which can be considered a memoir where the writer starts writing more about his life, and not about his views of other authors or painters.
It is a good book to be read if you know Istanbul as it gives you a different perspective.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Istanbul: Memories Of A City wasn't how I expected it to be and I did find myself drifting away from the book at times, although being completely engrossed in other sections. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Stephanie Jane
Orhan Pamuk, it will forever be impossible for u to disappoint me...Published 4 months ago by julijamoon
Thoroughly evocative of the Istanbul I saw when I visited, right down to the melancholia or "huzun". Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
I had read it before as a book. The ebook contains all the photos in the right places. I read it again using the ebook because I was visiting Istanbul and it was useful to explain... Read morePublished 10 months ago by mystery reader
Pamuk always makes me feel a nostalgia for a time and a place that I have never visited. But thanks to him I will one day.Published 12 months ago by Mark Armstrong
Just had a brief look at the book, which is full of incredible photographs, so far so good but not the book that was recommended.Published 12 months ago by lubna
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Fiction
- Books > History > Countries & Regions > Asia > Middle East > Turkey
- Books > History > Cultural History > Local & Urban History
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Sociology > Family & Social Groups
- Books > Society, Politics & Philosophy > Social Sciences > Urban & Rural Planning
- Books > Travel & Holiday > Countries & Regions > Asia > Turkey
- Books > Travel & Holiday > Travel Writing