NO 29 APRIL 2003
April and Hope, Again
ISTANBUL? YES, ISTANBUL
Voss No. 29 April 2003
you know that this is the third April in which I have written a column?
There is something incredibly and deeply satisfying about that.
It's a fact that somehow has a shape; it seems round.
Oh, never mind. OK.
Enough of the metaphysical things.
Moving right along here . . .
month I feel like writing to you as if I were writing a letter to a
friend. The events
connected with the war have unsettled me—my head is incredibly
tired—and I think this is a big part of the reason why the column is
late again, for what I think is the third time in a row, as well why I
cannot for the life of me conceive of writing about one topic in
anything like a focused way. So, dear reader, allow me to plunge into this
"letter" to you.
is some news I do want to share this month about our film, The Dream of Istanbul. Awhile
back I wrote that we were in the post production stages.
What this meant was that a really nice young man I'd met who
works with what he told me was the largest television production company
in Turkey saw the film we made, liked it, and promised that his company
would help by sponsoring the post production work on the film.
I still think he is a really nice young man, but unfortunately he
has been just too busy to get to it.
It's true that he's genuinely busy, not feigning, but I'm
beginning to be afraid that I've done it once again—invested
time and energy in a project that—for one reason or another—
never come to fruition. Anyway,
we're making a demo version that will be up soon.
You can go and see it at http://www.silkroadhotels.com/film/main.htm.
The plan now is to get it as ready as possible and then show it
in some film festivals abroad before making it available for sale.
I would love to see it shown on the fast boats that leave from
Eminounu and incoming Turkish airline flights—it really is beautiful,
even if it isn't state of the art Stanley Kubrick quality, but this is
almost surely just a fantasy. However,
I am determined to make the most of what we have and you are welcome to
write me with your ideas.
almost afraid to say this "out loud," lest really bad
weather start again, but I do think the rain is about to stop—at
last—and then, spring will definitely be here.
It's true; this is the first cold April I can remember in all the
years I've been here. But
it's also true that once again the bird whose name I don't know is
singing his deep throated song in the garden in the mornings and once
again one can catch that indefinable something in the air.
Spring is coming. Regular
readers know that spring is the season when I take out the summer
clothes and wash and iron them, move all the winter clothes into the
huge walnut trunk and sprinkle them with mothballs, clean everything
within an inch of its life, paint the garden walls with red ochre toprak
boyasý and put the flowers in.
the rest, though, I have resolved not to think further about the CURRENT
MESS WE ARE IN because there isn’t a damned thing I can do about any
of it. Instead, I am
focusing on my scholarly writing and have a number of projects in the
works, all with editorial deadlines. (1)
The fact of the deadlines is good, because I do have this
tendency to procrastinate. I’m
also writing a paper which I’m scheduled to present at a conference in
Cyprus in June. (2)
between bouts at the computer and the time I spend outside earning my
daily bread, I am occupying myself with domestic projects. There is the aforementioned work involved with the garden and
getting summer clothes ready to wear, but I've also resolved to take
care of several things I've put off doing.
For example, there is a small cabinet that sorely needs
refinishing, a shelf just made for jars of spices is crying out to be
made, and I'm determined to think of new and interesting uses for that
staple gun. This summer I want to cook more and I want to spend more time
enjoying the garden.
Not very ambitious as projects go, but I think that all of the activity will function to enhance my writing. And that reminds me of something Katherine Mansfield wrote which I want to leave you with
want to work. At what?
I want so to live that I work with my hands and my
feeling and my brain. I
want a garden, a small house, grass, animals, books, pictures,
music. And out of
this, the expression of this, I want to be writing . .But warm,
eager, living life -- to be rooted in life -- to learn, to desire
to know, to feel, to think, to
act. That is what I
want. And nothing less. That is what I must try for."
in the aftermath of all the horror of war, this is what I am going to
try for too.
Once, long ago, I was given advice concerning the process of
ignoring what I couldn't do anything about and concentrating instead on
what I held in my hand. "Keep your eyes on the violet," I was told.
I always forget.
The conference, Inscriptions in the Sand, is the Sixth International Literature
& Humanities Conference at Eastern Mediterranean University.
For further information you can visit
While I very much like the idea of
getting out of Istanbul for a few days, I confess that I am struggling
with the thought of actually getting on a plane to go anywhere.
I thought of avoiding this by taking the boat to Cyprus; however
this is definitely not a solution.
We did that once—thinking it would be ever so romantic—and
let me just say that it was anything but.
The boat to Cyprus could be a glorious trip.
Instead, what happens is that you are herded into a very old boat
shaped rather like a metal box—a very noisy metal box.
There is no deck; only a tiny, tiny space big enough for two
people to stand and look out at the sea.
The passengers are for the most part definitely not the kind of
people you would want to spend any time with and nothing is very clean.
So, it looks like it will have to be a plane.
|No.1- April 2000||No.11 April 2001||No. 20 July 2002||No 29 April 2003|
|No.2 June 2000||No.12 May 2001||No. 22 September 2002||NO 30 MAY 2003|
|No.3 July/August 2000||No. 13 June 2001||No. 23 October 2002||NO 31 JUNE 2003|
|No.5 October 2000||No.14 July 2001||No 24 November 2002||NO 32 JULY 2003|
|No.7 December 2000||No.15 August 2001||No 25 DECEMBER 2002||NO 33 August|
(No. 8 Ocak 2001 - Türkçe tercume
|NO 16 September 2001||No 26 January 2003||No 34 September|
|No.9 February 2001||No. 17 April 2002||No 27 February 2003||No 35 October|
|No.10 March 2001||NO 19 JUNE 2002||No 28 March 2003||No
36 January 2004
|No 37 February - March 2004||No 38 April 2004|
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