måndag, oktober 24, 2005

Istanbul av Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk har bott hela sitt liv i Istanbul. Han vet inget om resande, att röra sig mellan kulturer och språk, inget om exil eller rotlöshet. Han hämtar sina snacks på samma gata som han alltid har bott på. Memories and the City: minnen och staden. När Orhan Pamuk berättar om Istanbul berättar han om sig själv, när han berättar om sig själv berättar han om Istanbul.

Farmor gav Istanbul en slant och sa Istanbul är så duktig så Istanbul blir nog arkitekt eller läkare när Istanbul blir stor.

I Istanbul beskrivs den kommunala melankolin, hüzün. Hüzün i staden med en döende kultur där det nya står obekvämt bredvid ett ospelat piano, med felsydd blus i ett finrum.

I am speaking of the evenings when the sun sets early, of he fathers under the streetlamps in the back streets returning home carrying plastic bags. Of the old Bosphorus ferries moored to deserted stations in the middle of winter, where sleepy sailors scrup the decks, pail in hand and one eye on the black-and-white television in the distance; of the old booksellers who lurch from one financial crisis to the next and then wait shivering all day for a cutsomer to apperar: of the barbers who complain that men don't shave as much after an economic crisis; of the children who play ball between the cars on cobblestoned streets; of the covered women who stand at remote bus stops clutching plastic shopping bags and speak to no one as they wait for the bus that never arrives; of the empty boathouses of the old Bosphorus villas; of the teahouses packed to the rafters with unemployed men; of the patient pimps striding up and down the city's greatest square on summer evenings in search of one last drunken tourist; of the broken seesaws in empty parks; of ship horns booming through the fog; of the wooden buildings whose every board craked even when they were pashas' mansions, all the more now that they have become municipal headquarters; of the women peeking through their curtains as they wait for husbands who never manage to come home in the evening; of the old men selling thin religious treatises, prayer beads, and pilgrimage oils in the courtyards of mosques; of the tens of thousands of identical apartment house entrances, their facades discolored by dirt, rust, soot, and dust; of the crowds rushing to catch ferries on winter evenings; of the city walls, ruins since the end of the Byzantine Empire; of the markets that empty in the evenings; of the dervish lodges, the tekkes, that have crumbled; of the seagulls perched on ruste barges caked with moss and mussles, unflinching under the pelting rain; of the tiny ribbon of smoke rising from the singel chimney of a hundered-year-old mansion on the coldest day of the year; of the crowds of men fishing from the sides of the Galata Bridge; of the cold reading rooms of libraries; of the street photographers; of the smell of exhaled breath in the movie theatres, once glittering affairs with gilded ceilings, now porn cinemas frequented by shamefaced men; of the avenues where you never see a woman alone after sunset; of the crowds gathering around the doors of the state-controlled brothels on one of those hot blustery days when the wind is coming from the south; of the young girls who queue at the doors of establishements selling cut-rate meat; of the holy messages spelled out in lights between the minarets of mosques on holidays that are missing letters where the bulbs have burned out; of the walls covered with frayed and blackened posters; of the buses packed with passengers; of the mosques whose lead plates and rain gutters are forever being stolen; of the city cemeteries, which seem like gateways to a second world, and of their cypress trees; of the dim lights that you see of an evening on the boats crossing from Karaköy; of the little children in the streets who try to sell the same packet of tissues to every passerby; of the clock towers no one ever notices; of the history books in which children read about the victories of the Ottoman Empire and the beatings these same children recieve at home; of the days when everyone hs to stay home so the electoral roll can be compiled or the census can be taken; of the days when a sudden curfew is announced to facitlitate the search for terrorists and everyone sits at home fearfully awating "the officials"; of the readers' letters, squeezed into a corner of the paper and read by no one, announcing that the dome of the neighborhood mosquie, having stood for some 375 years, has begun to cave in and asking why the state has not done something; of the underpasses of the most crowded intersections; of the overpasses in which every step is broken in a different way; of the girls whor read Big Sister Güzin's column in Freedom, Turkey's most popular newspaper; of the beggars who accost you in the least likely places and those who stay in the same spot uttering the same appeal day after day; of the powerful whiffs of urine that hit you on crowded avenues, ships, passageways, and underpasses; of the man who has been selling postcards in the same spot for the past forty years; of the reddish-orange glint in the windows of Üsküudar at sunset; of the earliest hours of the morning, when everyone is asleep except for the fishermen heading out to sea; of that corner of Gülhane Park that calls itself a zoo but houses only two goats and three bored cats, languishing in cages; of the third-rate singers doing their best to imitate American vocalists and Turkish pop stars in cheap nightclubs, and of first-rate singers too; of the bored high school students in never-ending English classes where after six years no one has learned to say anything but "yes" and "no"; of the immigrants waiting on the Galata docks; of the fruits and vegetables, garbage and plastic bags and wastepaper, empty sacks, boxes, and chests strewn across abandoned street markets on a winter evening; of beautiful covered women timidly bargaining in the street markets; of the young mothers struggling down the streets with their three children; of all the ships in the sea sounding their horns at the same time as the city comes to ahalt to salute the memory of Atatürk at 9:05 on the morning of November tenth; of a cobblestone staircase with so much asphalt poured over it that it that its steps have disappeared; of marble ruins that were for centuries glorious street fountains but now stand dry, their faucets stolen; of the apartment buildings in the side streets where during my childhood middle-class families - of doctors, lawyers, teachers, and their wives and children - would sit in their apartments listening to the radio in the evenings, and where today the same apartments are packed with knitting and button machines and young girls working all night long for the lowes wages in the city to meet urgent orders; of the view of the Golden Horn, looking toward Eyüp from the Galata Bridge; of the simit vendors on the pier who gaze at the view as they wait for customers; of everything being broken, worn out, past its time; of the storks flying south from the Balkans and northern and western Europe as autumn near, gazing down over the entire city as they waft over the Bosphorus and the islands of the Sea of Marmara; of the crowds of men smoking cigarettes after the national soccer matches, which during my childhood never failed to end in abject defeat; I speak of all of them.

Kapitel 1
Orhan Pamuk
Istanbul av Orhan Pamuk
Istanbul. 2003. A.A Knopf, 2005: ISBN 1-4000-4095-7