Posts Tagged ‘turkey’
April 9, 2014 | by Kaya Genc
Reviving the art of Turkish miniatures.
In Turkey, people used to yawn when they heard the word miniature. “He looks just like one of those guys in miniatures” was a good way to insult someone. Generations of students have learned to ignore, or dislike, the art of miniature and the broader category of traditional Turkish arts—tezhip, the art of illumination; ebru, paper marbling; cilt, bookbinding; and hat, calligraphy. After all, uncool people practiced them—better to keep one’s distance.
Miniature paintings date to the third century A.D. They’re small paintings used in illustrated manuscripts (decorated books, basically) to depict scenes from the classics: the Iliad, the Aeneid, the Bible. Illuminated bibles—like the Syriac Bible of Paris, believed to have been produced in the Anatolian city of Siirt—helped spread the message of God. In Asia, miniatures developed into an independent art form, with techniques quite distinct from those of Western painting. As Wikipedia says, in Persian miniatures,
walls and other surfaces are shown either frontally, or as at (to modern eyes) an angle of about forty-five degrees, often giving the modern viewer the unintended impression that a building is hexagonal in plan. Buildings are often shown in complex views, mixing interior views through windows or “cutaways” with exterior views of other parts of a facade … The Ottoman artists hinted at an infinite and transcendent reality (that is Allah, according to the Sufism’s pantheistic point of view) with their paintings, resulting in stylized and abstracted depictions.
Kamāl ud-Dīn Behzād was one of the most prominent practitioners of Persian miniatures. Read More »
March 24, 2014 | by Dan Piepenbring
- That wild pope of ours—what’s he up to this time? Why, he’s hiring a Japanese tech firm to digitize the whole of the Vatican Library’s archives, of course! It’s almost as if this pontiff wants to make the world a better place.
- Victorian occultists believed in a kind of synesthesia, “the theory that ideas, emotions, and even events, can manifest as visible auras.” Fortunately for all of us, they made many terrific illustrations to support this theory, too.
- A landfill in New Mexico may contain truckload upon truckload of the worst video game of all time: Atari’s 1982 E.T. tie-in.
- After years of trying to sweep him under the rug, atheists are finally talking about Nietzsche again.
- Turkey’s Twitter ban has spawned a new Web site, Mwitter, which is semantically pretty fascinating. (Look for Elif Batuman in the comments section.)
October 8, 2013 | by J. D. Daniels
“To define terms at the outset, this will not be a novel so much as a series of notes toward one. Nevertheless pay attention.” —Barry N. Malzberg, Galaxies, 1975
I began vomiting somewhere over Turkmenistan. But it was not until the second day on the ground in Benares that I became desperately ill, losing a quarter of a pound an hour every hour for forty hours. “I figured you would be all right in the end,” Jamie told me after the ordeal was over. “Then again, I have seen patients die, and that is more or less what it looks like.”
From my India notebook:
A pair of mouse turds on the table. Amazing to think that I ever planned to write about this place. Why not spend ten years becoming better acquainted with my own country. And spend more time with S, you fool, what is it you think life is about. The river priest, dressed in brilliant orange, gives me his blessing, custom-tailoring my reincarnation: “Not come back as parrot, not come back as mosquito, not come back as dog.” Malzberg for TPR: The Falling Astronauts, In the Enclosure, his Kennedy books, Galaxies. Just because I like it doesn’t mean it isn’t crap.
That’s how much I wanted to write my Malzberg thing. And I would have done it, too, if I had lived.
I first encountered Barry N. Malzberg in my twenties during a confused summer spent with David Pringle’s Science Fiction: The 100 Best Novels. Malzberg’s Galaxies was number seventy-seven.
Malzberg—author of Horizontal Woman and The Masochist and Oracle of the Thousand Handsand Screen and In My Parents’ Bedroom and many other books; aka K. M. O’Donnell, author of Final War, Universe Day, Gather in the Hall of the Planets, and so on; aka Howard Lee, who wrote novelizations of the 1970s television series Kung Fu, starring David Carradine; aka Mike Barry, author of Night Raider, Bay Prowler, Desert Stalker, Boston Avenger, etc.; aka Eliot B. Reston, author of The Womanizer; aka Claudine Dumas, author of Diary of a Parisian Chambermaid; aka Mel Johnson, writer of I, Lesbian and Instant Sex and Nympho Nurse and The Sadist and Do It to Me—was unquestionably a hack, God knows. He knew it, too. But what a workhorse! Read More »
August 20, 2013 | by Kaya Genc
I have a friend who visits the Sour Times Web site three times a day. She says it’s like watching other people masturbate. “The difference is that they are masturbating on your image,” she says. Here “image” refers to the Sour Times article written about her, while “masturbate” refers to anonymous users’ attempts at describing her. She calls the resultant articles “juices.” “You can’t help but look at their juices,” she says. When asked about why she is so obsessed with other people’s juices and this Web site, she replied: “Because I fucking CARE for my reputation, Kaya. Sour Times is where your reputation is made, where your name can get destroyed. For many people out there it is the only source of information about me. Don’t you care about what people say about you? I do!”
Sour Times (in Turkish, Ekşi Sözlük) is a big deal in Turkey. A combination of Urban Dictionary (likewise “a veritable cornucopia of streetwise lingo, posted and defined by its readers”), the Meaning of Liff (it is somewhat similar to Douglas Adams and John Lloyd’s 1983 dictionary of undefined or undefinable things) and Wikipedia, Sour Times may be the most exciting Web site created by a Turkish citizen, ever. Sour Times users start articles with mesmerizing speed during the day; their creations, thousands of them, appear on the left frame of the Sour Times homepage, where they are listed in chronological order. Here are some recent examples: “The monkey who doesn’t believe in evolution.” “The nickname Ataturk would use if he was a Sour Times user.” “Girls who are good at finding torrent files on the web.” And my favorite: “Men who get their socks off as soon as they get home.” Read More »
June 4, 2013 | by Barry Yourgrau
Taksim Square and Gezi Park had been triumphantly peaceful since the weekend. But there’d been heavy action overnight in the nearby Beşiktaş and Dolmabahçe neighborhoods. Monday morning I left our apartment on the slope just below Taksim and walked down to Kabataş to get a glimpse of the damage. Kabataş lies right beneath on the Bosphorus; Dolmabahçe and then Beşiktaş are directly north from there along the shore. To our south rise the headland of old Constantinople, the minarets of Aya Sofya, and Blue Mosque.
At Kabataş I started up the shore road. It’s always jammed. But northward now, an almost inert standstill. There was debris from some of last night’s blockades, brilliant in the sunshine. Read More »
January 9, 2013 | by Sadie Stein