Istanbul: Chapters 10, 11, 15 and the Taksim Protests in Istanbul

To begin, I’ll start with the few chapters assigned in Istanbul. We see a similar theme of melancholy throughout the chapters (it’s literally the name of Chapter 10) and it seems to me that Pamuk is finding a way to explain why he feels this melancholy associated with Istanbul and its “lost golden age”. He mentions how the feeling is incorporated not only in the music and poetry of Istanbul but in the way of life. The next chapter, however, seems to focus more specifically on the beauty that the melancholy inspired in the author while recalling his favorite poets and how the almost tangible emotion pushed them to find their own voice. The next chapter takes the view of a youth (later to be one of Istanbul’s greatest writers) that started in Istanbul and later wrote of the “impulse” transition into Westernization. While doing this, Rasim was able to balance the melancholy and high spirits that he struggled with. Something that wasn’t really seen before.

The article had some parallels with the chapters in the context of some yearning for their golden age back. However, while the book seems to constantly be looking back at the past, the article seems to suggest that the protest was fighting for the future.

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