For December, we reached out renown author Özgür Mumcu to ask for his reading suggestions to young writers and why he picked them…
1. Kemal Tahir / Kurt Kanunu
-To grasp the cruelty of power games.
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2. Elıas Canettı /Auto Da Fé
Original Title: Die Blendung
-To understand alıenation and the relatıonshıp between socıety and ındıvıdual ıdentıty.
Auto Da Fé is the story of Peter Kien, a distinguished, reclusive sinologist living in Germany between the wars. With masterly precision, Canetti reveals Kien’s character, displaying the flawed personal relationships which ultimately lead to his destruction.
Manipulated by his illiterate and grasping housekeeper, Therese, who has tricked him into marriage, and Benedikt Pfaff, a brutish concierge, Kien is forced out of his apartment – which houses his great library and one true passion – and into the underworld of the city. In this purgatory he is guided by a chess-playing dwarf of evil propensities, until he is eventually restored to his home. But on his return he is visited by his brother, an eminent psychiatrist who, by an error of diagnosis, precipitates the final crisis…
Auto Da Fé was first published in Germany in 1935 as Die Blendung (The Blinding or Bedazzlement) and later in Britain in 1947, where the publisher noted Canetti as a ‘writer of strongly individual genius, which may prove influential’, an observation borne out when the author was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981. Auto Da Fé still towers as one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century, and Canetti’s incisive vision of an insular man battling against the outside world is as fresh and rewarding today as when first it appeared in print.
3. Douglas Adams /The Hıtchhiker’s Guıde to the Galaxy
-Because the world ıs best understood ın a text whıch doesn’t revolve around the world.
This is the story of Arthur Dent, who, secnds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, is plucked off the planet by his friend, Ford Prefect, who has been posing as an out-of-work actor for the last fifteen years but is really a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Together they begin a journey through the galaxy aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, with the words don’t panic written on the front. (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.”)
In their travels they meet:
- Zaphod Beeblebrox—the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch President of the Galaxy
- Trillian—Zaphod’s girl friend, formerly Tricia McMillan, whom Arthur once tried to pick up at a cocktail party
- Marvin—a paranoid android, a brilliant but chronically depressed robot
- Veet Voojagig—former graduate student obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years
To find the answers to these burning questions: Why are we born? Why do we die? And why do we spend so much time in between wearing digital watches? read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But remember . . . don’t panic, and don’t forget to bring a towel.
4. Peter Frankopan / The Sılk Roads; A New Hıstory of The World
-To see the eternal relationshıp between East and West from a bırd’s eye vıew.
The No. 1 Sunday Times and international bestseller – a major reassessment of world history in light of the economic and political renaissance in the re-emerging east
For centuries, fame and fortune was to be found in the west – in the New World of the Americas. Today, it is the east which calls out to those in search of adventure and riches. The region stretching from eastern Europe and sweeping right across Central Asia deep into China and India, is taking centre stage in international politics, commerce and culture – and is shaping the modern world.
This region, the true centre of the earth, is obscure to many in the English-speaking world. Yet this is where civilization itself began, where the world’s great religions were born and took root. The Silk Roads were no exotic series of connections, but networks that linked continents and oceans together. Along them flowed ideas, goods, disease and death. This was where empires were won – and where they were lost. As a new era emerges, the patterns of exchange are mirroring those that have criss-crossed Asia for millennia. The Silk Roads are rising again.
A major reassessment of world history, The Silk Roads is an important account of the forces that have shaped the global economy and the political renaissance in the re-emerging east.
5. Adrıan Coldsworthy / Caesar
-To seıze how a Republıc turns ınto an Emperorship.
Tracing the extraordinary trajectory of the great Roman emperor’s life, Goldsworthy covers not only the great Roman emperor’s accomplishments as charismatic orator, conquering general, and powerful dictator but also lesser-known chapters during which he was high priest of an exotic cult, captive of pirates, seducer not only of Cleopatra but also of the wives of his two main political rivals, and rebel condemned by his own country. Ultimately, Goldsworthy realizes the full complexity of Caesar’s character and shows why his political and military leadership continues to resonate some two thousand years later.
In the introduction to his biography of the great Roman emperor, Adrian Goldsworthy writes, “Caesar was at times many things, including a fugitive, prisoner, rising politician, army leader, legal advocate, rebel, dictator . . . as well as husband, father, lover and adulterer.” In this landmark biography, Goldsworthy examines Caesar as military leader, all of these roles and places his subject firmly within the context of Roman society in the first century B.C.