TO ISTANBUL BY ORHAN PAMUK

Mersiha Ismajloska

„When I write, I remember, when I remember, I write“
Ana Ahmatova


          To create I story for a city as being metaphor for a city, that how Orhan Pamuk wrote his biography trough pictures-photographs, original perceptions of Bahtin hronotop, Pamuk private world of memories, stories, loves and melancholy.
          Renate Lahman in her book Phantasia / Memoria / Rhetorica make distinction of different types memory and connection with creative act. Orhan Pamuk autobiography Istanbul make correspondence with all and there are several points that we can apply on his work. As first memory vs. memories. Pamuk memories of childhood is memories of maturation in city which function as a simulacrum of his imagination: “Was the secret of Istanbul – that beneath its grand history, its living poverty, its outward-looking monuments and its sublime landscapes, its poor hid the city’s soul inside a fragile web? But here, we have come full circle, for anything we say about the city’s essence, says more about our own lives and our own states of mind. The city has no centre other than ourselves” (316). Pointing city as his centre Pamuk prove, unconditional connection with city that is memory for itself. Memory that all the time become deeper and deeper and remind not only Europe and the World too, that belonging and longing is two different sides of same coin.
          Istanbul of Pamuk is city, but not only a place and time too- Bahtin's hronotop, where people meet people, through times which is mixed. People meet time, time meet people in that magical place and Pamuk literature become ars memoriae, text place where personal history is history of the city too. City which is crossroad of East and West, Tanpinar and Jahja Kemal, Nerval, Gotje and Flober...Crossroads of individuals and palimpsest of there lives in Constantinople, Carigrad, Istanbul. Three different names for one city, that is prove of transformation of Europe as a concept and as a geographical, political, social and cultural entity not only now but in the history too.
          Pamuk use Renate Lachman method of „instance of memory“ and with great „urban sensibility“ wrote about his Istanbul. A lot of photographs are used to tell the story about city and about Pamuk through different perspective. Photographs are story in story, picture text in text, a kind of inter-text which create unconventional type of autobiography. And we that other point is touched, point about memory-photography-perspective. For more precise understanding  of their relation, we can talk about photography ,,narration”, and can make distinction of photograph, viewer and writer and finally speak about theory of focalization. There are two conception in theory of focalization, one ,,thinking with the subject” and other ,,watching with the subject”. Term focalization go with two theories, and through photography  frames  and story beyond photographs, there is Pamuk poetic, written his inside focalization, and in that point we can make difference of inside mental processes, tell and told thoughts-memories. Beginning from a lot techniques that theory of storytelling have in biographies similar with this one we can explore relation: storytelling through narrator where position of writer as biographer of his own life, as storytelling in first person come as way of getting closer with the reader and the observer. Being in same time, character and narrator is exclusive way to be creative in retelling life, retelling through photograph, stories on there on. That’s why he says in the end of his book: “I relived much of the excitement and puzzlement of writing this book while choosing the photographs. Most were taken by Ara Guler; during my time searching in his home-studio-archive-museum (in Beyoğlu, where he has spent most of his life) I came across many treasured but long-forgotten images as beguilingly familiar as they were strange to my adult eye.” (335) Put himself in the position of grown man Pamuk speak about childhood with the spirit of child in manner of psychological-narration, including persons and of course Istanbul that were the most important for his initiation of becoming man. It is very interesting when he write: “When I happened upon the view of the snow-covered Galata Bridge it was as if my own memory had been projected onto a screen; there were other moments like that, when I would be seized by a frenzy to capture and preserve this dreamscape or to write about it.” (335)  Like beautiful coincidence pictures and personal stories create interdisciplinary effect, which bring thinking to focalization and focalization to thinking. This conceptions of mediation and transposition of thoughts is fulfill with mechanisms connected with the narrator. His voce can be listen through perception and narration crossing in a original way of writing.    
          Very subtly, with intervention in personal memory, Pamuk write about city as a person with lot of transformation which lead to global transformation. He starts whit small things and talk for bigger, like time is stopped and memory speak. His city keeps stories of belonging to or longing to, not only in his country or Europe or Asia...but in his family, friends, life...So, question about belonging or longing for some place or time is (be)longing for identity.  As SS. Augustin sad that people remember other people memories, city remember other city memories.
          Pamuk is Istanbul, Istanbul is Pamuk. Like Ana Ahmatova he wrote when he remember, he remember when he wrote. His Istanbul have not borders, it is intimate place where he will always come back, in his museum, in the streets, but all the time in his memories…