“A feeling that I was not for that hour,
Nor for that place.”
Orhan Pamuk’s ninth book uses Mevlut , a street vendor’s narrative to look at the city of Istanbul and the matters of the heart. The old lanes and roads of Istanbul have been explored again and reminds the reader of Pamuk’s Istanbul ( 2009). The huzun that holds an important place in Pamuk’s books finds its place in Pamuk’s recent novel.
The story of Mevlut unfolds through various voices that attempt to describe Mevlut’s journey- from 1969- 2012. He falls in love with a thirteen year old girl and for three years writes love letters to her. It is this communication that spells doom for Mevlut later on. The girl’s brother agrees to help Mevlut and the girl elope but on the day of elopement, the girl which is presented is the elder sister and not the one he fell in love with. It is this accepting of one’s fate as well as not being with someone he loves that has been beautifully captured by Pamuk.
It is the years that have been captured in this book which show the changes that occur to a place and in people that Mevlut looks at and reflects upon. He has changed himself and it is this strangeness of the mind which he questions. What is it that makes him strange and what is it that makes him different from the others…