Istanbul: Memories and the City Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Istanbul.
This section contains 1,161 words
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Melancholy

By far, the primary theme of "Istanbul: Memories and the City" is melancholy. The author writes at length about the air of melancholy that he says envelopes the entire city of Istanbul and its people. Although from time to time he notes other reasons for its existence, he comes back to the idea that it stems from the fall of the Ottoman Empire, which led to an overall decline in the fortunes of both the city of Istanbul and its people, with the exception of an increasingly small number of wealthy families.

Pamuk frequently uses the Turkish word "huzun," which means "melancholy." He says that the feeling of huzun is central to Turkish poetry and music, and that the people of Istanbul are resigned to living lives of poverty and depression so they accept melancholy as a way of life. While Istanbul was once a colorful, vibrant city...

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This section contains 1,161 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Istanbul: Memories and the City Study Guide
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