tanpinar on istanbul (from 1962)


A few days ago, a friend whom I love dearly and always find to have attractive ideas asked me, “What do you think is the most difficult cause in our artistic endeavours?” I was first caught unawares and answered, with a slackness of thought, “Never mind! All causes are difficult. If they weren’t, we wouldn’t have called them by the name of cause. The fact that we separate them from other problems is also self-explanatory.” My friend knows me a little. He realised that I was, as my students sometimes like to say, letting go of it. It was the truth.

He had come to me early in the morning and taken me to the Yildiz Park. We were walking underneath a sweet blue sky that refuted all we knew about the winter season. Barren trees resembling imaginary palisades rather than tarnished silver, vibrant green cypresses and pines booming forward like deep cello tunes amidst the silence, and the deep blue, sparkling sea that beckoned us to climates unknown had suddenly fascinated me. But my friend wouldn’t leave me alone. Maybe he had an inherent ability to take on two tasks at once with the same vigour.

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