The Importance of Huzun to Orhan Pamuk in Istanbul: Memories and the City
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Byzantium, a city built by Greek colonists to Constantinople, the capital of an empire and then Istanbul, Istanbul has seen almost everything. The zenith of civilization to the ruinous city ravaged by war and political chaos; Each time an empire fell; a new one was born from its ruins giving the people another chance at life, and this cycle continued and still continues. This constant struggle brings with it sorrow; sorrow of the loss of loved ones, sorrow of the loss of culture and sorrow of the fall of another empire and hope, hope of a new life, a restart. This feeling is unlike any other, and every citizen of Istanbul, new or old is afflicted by it, no matter which district they belong to, and through Istanbul: Memories and the City,…show more content…
This aspect of Huzun stems from the fact that Istanbul is a city of two worlds, the junction of the east and the west. The two sides of the river are like two sides of a coin, each different than the other, yet part of the same existence. The simultaneous existence of these two great influences has resulted in a unique identity for Istanbul, which incorporates the west with the east, but history has shown time and again, two great powers cannot coexist in complete harmony, and the polar nature of these two cultures caused friction, friction that while gave Istanbul a new identity, also gave Istanbul problems unlike any other which was integral for Huzun as it brought them closer, because only an ‘Istanbullu’ could understand the problems of another ‘Istanbullu’. The people could neither relate to the people of the east, nor the people of west, the city of Istanbul was its own isolated community.
A major origin of Huzun for Orhan Pamuk in Istanbul Memories and the City was the cultural clash that had engulfed the entire city. Slowly, as