“Where mathematics was a magnificent imaginary building, the world of story as represented by Dickens was like a deep, magical forest for Tengo. When mathematics stretched infinitely upward toward the heavens, the forest spread out beneath his gaze in silence, its dark, sturdy roots stretching deep into the earth. In the forest there were no maps, no numbered doorways.” 1Q84 Book 1 Chapter 14, Haruki Murakami
I have re-read Shakespeare’s Macbeth today. I always find Macbeth disturbing because of the blind, unchecked ambition in it. Shakespeare pushes the reader into Macbeth’s mind and the reader experiences the darkness and its consequences there.
Today I have read Turkish author Tahsin Yücel’s “Bıyık Söylencesi” (The Myth of The Moustache). This is the second Yücel novel I have read: the first one was “Citizen” (Vatandaş). The Myth of The Moustache is an extraordinary example of storytelling. I am so happy to have discovered this novel. It takes a look at our obsessive relationship with objects – in this case, the moustache. Yücel depicts what we do with the moustache, how we take it and use it, and how we are taken, used and consumed by it, how identities are formed and erased through it.
Tahsin Yücel’in Bıyık Söylencesi romanını okudum bugün. Bıyık üzerinden topluma ve bireye etkileyici bir bakış. Kişiler ve toplumların nesnelere tutkusu, nesnelerin onları ele geçirmesi, bölmesi, yabancılaştırması, anlamların zamanla değişimi… Bıyık Söylencesi çok katmanlı; bu nedenle pek çok açıdan da değerlendirilmesi mümkün. Okuma listenize almanızı tavsiye ederim – okumadıysanız elbette.
Great authors get you under their skin with their stories and do not let you go. This was how I felt, last month, after reading Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”. And I am feeling exactly the same after reading “The Testaments”. I have underlined many many lines; I will certainly go back to them and underline them again – physically and mentally. “And how easily a hand becomes a fist”… “Once a story you’ve regarded as true has turned false, you begin suspecting all stories.”
I have finished reading South Korean author Cho Nam-joo’s “Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982”. The novel addresses gender inequality and was published in 2016, coinciding with South Korea’s #MeToo movement. The novel is said to have ignited a public debate around everyday sexism, gender inequality and discrimination in the Korean society. The book cover showing Kim Jiyoung as a faceless woman is an excellent one. “Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982” is fiction but Cho grounds her story in statistics so that “its message wouldn’t be dismissed as a made-up account of one woman’s experience… I wanted to write about the everyday and common but nonetheless undeserved experience of women around me,” said Cho Nam-joo in an interview with The New York Times. After finishing the book this morning, I watched Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite”. Excellent film. I am speechless.
Güney Koreli yazar Cho Nam-joo’nun “Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982” romanını biitirdim bu sabah. Ataerkil düzen içinde başkaları için pek çok şey olmak zorunda kalan bir kadını anlatan romanı çok severek okudum. Yazarın dili süssüz, gösterişten uzak, ‘sıradan’; bu, Kim Jiyoung’un hikayesini daha anlamlı kılıyor. Romanın ardından vakit kaybetmeden Bong Joon-ho’nun “Parazit” filmini de izledim. Müthiş. Yine seyredeceğimi biliyorum. Günün ilk saatleri böylece geçiverdi.