Fighting words

Once accusations, justified or not, are made against someone’s language skills by someone who has none, respect is hard to regain. Anna Aslanyan, Dancing on Ropes: Translators & the Balance of History 

A strangeness in my mind

Epigraph from Orhan Pamuk’s Kafamda bir Tuhaflık / A Strangeness in my Mind: Vatandaşlarımızın şahsi görüşleri arasındaki farkın derinliği devletimizin gücünün kanıtdır. The gulf between the private and public views of our countrymen is evidence of the power of the state. Celâl Salik, Milliyet Illustrations by Orhan Pamuk

Ordinary tyranny

Once any tyranny becomes accepted as ordinary, its victory is assured. Bir despotluk sıradan olarak kabul edildiğinde, artık zaferi kesindi. David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas Çeviren: Bilge Gündüz Illustrations: The Decameron


Rights are susceptible to subversion, as even granite is susceptible to erosion.  …In a cycle as old as tribalism, ignorance of the Other engenders fear; fear engenders hatred; hatred engenders violence; violence engenders further violence until the only “rights,” the only law, are whatever is willed by the most powerful. Nasıl granit bile erozyona karşıContinue reading “Subversion”

Cloud Atlas

Souls cross ages like clouds cross skies, an’ tho’ a cloud’s shape nor hue nor size don’t stay the same, it’s still a cloud an’ so is a soul.  Who can say where the cloud’s blowed from or who the soul’ll be ‘morrow?   Bulutlar gökleri nası’ aşıyo’sa ruhlar da çağları ööle aşar, bi’ bulutunContinue reading “Cloud Atlas”


How vulgar, this hankering after immortality, how vain, how false.  Composers are merely scribblers of cave paintings.  One writes music because winter is eternal and because, if one didn’t, the wolves and blizzards would be at one’s throat all the sooner. Bu ölümsüzlük isteği ne kadar bayağı, mağrurca ve sahte bir şey.  Besteciler çalakalem mağaraContinue reading “Scribbling”

The room talks about everything

ODA / ROOM by İlhan Berk Evin doğası sessizliktir. Odalar, sofalar, merdivenler, döşemeler sessizlik eğirir. The nature of the house is silence. Rooms, sofas, stairs, furniture weave silence.  SESSİZLİK İSTER EV. THE HOUSE DEMANDS SILENCE. Ev keçiyolları yumağıdır.  Bu keçiyolları besler onu. Böyle bir sessizlik, sınırsızlık saçar. House is a winding ball of narrow paths. Continue reading “The room talks about everything”

Where the hall ended

Excerpted from Love in the Days of Rebellion, by Ahmet Altan, English translation by Brendan Freely and Yelda Türedi He’d been in this large hall twice before, but his knowledge of the palace ended where the hall ended, he’d never seen anything of the palace beyond that point.  There was a small room behind theContinue reading “Where the hall ended”

Love in the Days of Rebellion

Excerpted from Love in the Days of Rebellion, by Ahmet Altan, English translation by Brendan Freely and Yelda Türedi He stood and paced with a joy he couldn’t resist; without being sure if this had come to mind at that moment or if he’d read it somewhere, he said: “Whatever it is for nature toContinue reading “Love in the Days of Rebellion”