Born in 1952 in Istanbul, Pamuk grew up as the son of a middle-class family in Istanbul’s Sisli. Prosperity had earned his grandfather as an engineer in railway construction. Even as a child discovered Pamuk his artistic talent and was fascinated, among others from the literature Thomas Mann, Kafka, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, whose novels offered him his cosmopolitan father to read. In 1977 he completed his study of literature and became a journalist and writer. 1982, his first work, “Cevdet Bey ve Ogullan” appeared ( “Mr. Cevdet and His Sons”), but Pamuk was reluctant for thirty years against translation and further spread of this novel. Only now “Cevdet and his sons” is published by Hanser – an epic wider social novel in which characters find out the next relatedness and acquaintance of the author with their individual character, life goals and cultural policy settings. As inspiration and an example for his story about Cevdet, his sons, his daughter and his grandson Pamuk expressly mentions Thomas Mann’s “Buddenbrooks” and Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”.
The action begins in 1905. Cevdet Isikci has a clear and ambitious goal: He wants to run a business, promote their wealth and start a family. A capable businessman ( “Lamp Cevdet”) he works between Jewish, Greek and Armenian merchants, but is therefore contrary to the tradition and is ridiculed for his ambitions. Entry into the so-called better society Cevdet expects by marrying a woman from the home of a pasha. The marriage is arranged for a Tevla game, and the impoverished, a still arrogant Pasha agrees gracious – a better match could he negotiate for his daughter hard. In Niºantaºý, an upscale residential area of Istanbul, Cevdet building a stone house and a summer house on a Turkish island may even soon afford. Although the couple still have children depends on Cevdets store already the pioneering sign “Cevdet and his sons.”
While Cevdet can be distracted nor any entertainment from the pursuit of his goals in life, neither politics nor culture, must he, like Nusret, spends his leichtlebiger brother, his life with horror, almost all hate with. After studying medicine in Paris Nusret has dealt with the upheavals that brought the French Revolution for Europe, and is in contact with the Young Turks, an illegal movement fighting for liberalization, modernization and strengthening of the Ottoman Empire. Now he lies seriously ill with tuberculosis in a hotel room. The figure Nusrets represents the beginnings of political change, the first violations of conventions, the first examples of otherness in society.
Cevdet found in his son Osman a worthy successor who will continue the business in his spirit and expanded.
Osman and his brother Refik, both women and children, and her younger sister, the second and most extensive part of the novel: the old tradition (the mother demands so) the entire extended family still lives in his father’s house. plays in the thirties. Atatürk and his revolutionary reforms determine the development of the country and the lifestyle of people. While Osman is the quieter, more stable son Refik remains a seeker in discussions with his former university friends. The affluent elite can afford to start thinking to give the Enlightenment (liberty, equality, fraternity) and progress and enjoy their individual advantages. Even a trip to Europe, where life is so modern so attractive, can afford one.
Bald bears the melancholy Refik whose favorite author Hölderlin’s life as a merchant and his wife no longer. It draws him to his college friend Ömer, who works as an engineer in the railway construction. For months remains Refik away from home, think about social improvements for the people of the village gradually written a memoir, which he later submitted in the hope of being able to bring anything in the Department of Agriculture. But here one sees no particular need …
The third and last part is dedicated Pamuk grandson Ahmet, who, living in a loft apartment, surrenders to the artist’s life. The novel ends in 1978.
“Cevdet and His Sons” was my first encounter with Orhan Pamuk. A really wonderful novel full of poetry; sometimes to the atmosphere in the “Thousand and One Nights” remembering; sometimes worn slowly, then more intensely in the descriptions of scenes and scenes of action; sometimes slowly progressing, then into dense sequence of actions. The people – from a previously unknown world to me – yet are so close, so convincing
particularly good, I like that Pamuk leaves its individuals be quite-human, of course.. Their views and statements are highly differentiated, can stand for many things. They never show how the didactic finger on something that should be so, is just so right. Pamuk evokes a good, a sensual feeling when reading. Throughout the men stand at the center of the novel; the women fill the room as a decorative accessory. Only sister Ais, e resists the constant supervision of her mother and her brother, which she picked up from the piano and education. Finally free and unobserved, they can be the son of the teacher for whom she harbors some interest, her home. But this rebellion stops only briefly. Whether remorseful or insightful or just older and mellowed: Finally, it returns to the old traditions, can be picked up again and the choice is true of the intended for her husband to … “emancipation” is still a foreign word
What foresight showed the 22-year-old author; what a literary achievement he has accomplished! Until the publication of the final version of “Cevdet Bey ve Og (ullar?” He was eight years time.