Have you ever had any moments when you wished to have met an individual no longer alive? This desire seems to be visiting me often, and in particular, when poets, writers, and thinkers are concerned. It happened again when I watched the following recording from the post-60s Turkish television archives:
By giving me a sweet surprise from his grave – his laid back wittiness, Cemal Süreya immediately appealed to me as my focus for this November Wednesday. While live on television to talk on the state of literature in the country, the program host asks the poet the issue with the infamous misspelling of his last name. (When spelled with double “y”, it mostly identifies a woman in Turkish.) Süreya replies in polite indifference: “I lost a bet. About twenty years ago. Since I had two of them, I didn’t mind giving away one of the ‘ys’.”
I also wanted you to have a taste of one of Süreya’s perhaps most frequently cited poems, “Aşk” (Love) in its original language. For that, I am resorting to yet another video recording, in which Bülent Yakut delivers an utterly successful reading:
As for the poem I have selected to translate for you from many of Cemal Süreya’s lyrical collections, it highlights a rare find as far as the subject matter. The original version in Turkish appears first, as it has been my practice all this month:
My heartfelt thanks are with you, dear bhuwanchand, for giving me the chance to reblog from your work with utmost enthusiasm and conviction. Long ago, I had posted an interview by Ted Koppel with Morrie Schwartz including his following words that had been haunting me since I first read them (as writtten by Mitch Album): “Death ends a life, not a relationship.” The key concept in your post, “love”, is, to me, the only power we can rely on in surpassing death. And there, certainly is no reason that can rule out such permanence.
In this dizzyingly rich novel of ideas, Mann uses a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps, a community devoted exclusively to sickness, as a microcosm for Europe, which in the years before 1914 was already exhibiting the first symptoms of its own terminal irrationality. The Magic Mountain is a monumental work of erudition and irony, tension and intellectual ferment, a book that pulses with life in the midst of death.
Hi Stephen !! This is Kiriti from India. I must congratulate and thank you for the painstaking effort you have invested towards the making of a global anthology, Twist of Fate. Being the administrator of the group Indies in Action and the Chief Editor of the anthology, I would appreciate if you, please, answer me. Are you ready ?
Stephen: I am ready, Kiriti. Thank you very much for taking the time to put together the ideas and thoughts of the people behind the work. I hope that those who read this are inspired by our project.
Kiriti: What made you form the group Indies in Action ?
Stephen: It actually began in 1996. I was in Oklahoma City the year after the Alfred P. Murrah building was destroyed by a domestic…
Hi Maria !! Greetings from India. This is Kiriti. I must thank you for your contribution towards the international charity anthology, Twist of Fate. I seriously wish to ask you few things, if you, please.
Maria: By all means.
Kiriti: You have contributed ISBN towards the anthology. Would like to know what the significance of the ISBN is and how it would help in establishing the work (book).
Maria: The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique numeric commercial book identifier to help booksellers identify individual books. Most booksellers will not accept books without this number. That alone speaks to its availability and marketability.
Kiriti: Why did you come forward with this unique idea of donating the ISBN to the anthology ?
Maria: Everything Stephen L. Wilson and this anthology stands for is…
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