Room with a view

I have already written about the view I see when looking past the computer through the window on the hillside, on the moon proceeding above the poplars and in this very moment on the deers looking for food in the snow under the poplars. And we have also written about the view seen by Wang Wei from his studiolum towering above the old town of Palma.

Matteo Pericoli in his series launched in the Guardian with the title “Rooms with a View” designs the views seen from the windows of illustrious contemporary writers, musicians, photographers, Philip Glass, Annie Leibowitz, Ryu Murakami, Daniel Kehlmann, who also describe under the pictures how they see what they see. The first piece of the series, and with good reason, was Orhan Pamuk’s wonderful view on the Bosphorus in Istanbul. Pamuk writes about this view like this:

Most of my writing time is spent forming the next sentence in my imagination. When my mind is busy with words, all by itself my eye moves away from the page and the tip of the fountain pen.

This is the landscape I have gazed upon through my Istanbul window for the last 15 years. On the left side is Asia and in the middle the Bosphorus and its opening to the Sea of Marmara, as well as the islands I have been going to each summer for 58 years. To the right is the entrance to the Golden Horn and the part of the city that Istanbul residents refer to as the Old Town, home of the Ottoman dynasty for four centuries, including Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.

I sometimes proudly declare that I am a writer who wrote a historical novel, My Name Is Red, set in a location constantly before my eyes. To the popular question inquisitive guests and visiting journalists ask – “Doesn’t this wonderful view distract you?” – my answer is no.

But I know a part of me is always busy with some part of the landscape, following the movements of the seagulls, trees and shadows, spotting boats and checking to see that the world is always there, always interesting and always a challenge to write about: an assurance that a writer needs to continue to write and a reader needs to continue to read.

Isztambuli látkép Orhan Pamuk ablakából nézveThe view of Istanbul from the window of Orhan Pamuk (El País) on which we have already written some time ago

Isztambuli látkép Orhan Pamuk ablakából nézveThe same view three centuries ago, from here

2 comentarios:

Canehan dijo...

I would love to see a photo of the deers in the snow.

Studiolum dijo...

Each time I see them I pledge myself to keep my camera at hand, but then I again don’t have it. But they usually come until the end of the snow in early March, so I hope they will soon find me with a camera in the hand.