Kürk Mantolu Madonna // The Madonna in the Fur Coat

One of the most beautiful novels I have ever read. And indeed the one that had the decisive influence on what I do today and why. Not to mention being the reason why I’m learning Turkish.
The children are really the ones who embody the future, due to their ability to contain the past. Always look for the children.
Written by Sabahattin Ali in Turkish, translated already into German, now partially available in English!


Andrea del Sarto, “Madonna delle Arpie” (Madonna of the Harpies, 1517)

Andrea del Sarto, “Madonna delle Arpie” (Madonna of the Harpies, 1517)


3 Gedanken zu “Kürk Mantolu Madonna // The Madonna in the Fur Coat

  1. That sounds soo interesting! That idea the children have the ability to contain the past sounds fascinating! I’ve never thought about that! I always loved the way they see life and appreciate every second of it. I’haven’t read that novel but I’m really really curios and I think it will be one of my next readings, thanks to wrote about that. The only Turkish novel I read so far in which there was a child (I forgot If I already told you or not as I LOVE that novel) was ‚Uçurtmayı vurmasınlar‘ by Feride Çiçekoğlu. The way the little protagonist, Barış, told in a simple and kinda poetic way the terrible things that happens in the jail during the 1980 military coup is something that melt my heart every time i read it as only good poems and few things or writings can do (Except this novel, I felt this kind of emotion just with a brazilian novel by Guimarães Rosa, „Miguilim“, for the same poetic/simple/sweet the little protagonist gaze on life has, even when it really hurts him) .
    It’s nice the way some books can move you and become an unforgettable part of your life, isn’t it?
    Thanks for sharing your impressions about this book ;).

    • Elbette, her zaman. Did you read Çiçekoğlu in Turkish or a translation?
      The child in the Madonna has no primary, long, or even active part in the novel. It’s mentioned almost not at all, absolutely briefly towards the end. It never speaks a word, nor does anyone else speak to it. The passive appearance of the child is not even half a page, adding it all together. It’s not about how actively the child plays a role. Thinking about when the novel was written, I wonder what Ali knew, assumed, or had no clue about.
      And isn’t the meaning of actually reading literature learning to be able to see beyond the obvious, realizing what is not there, finding the gap, reading between the lines, questioning what others take for granted, and understanding the fine and subtle nuances and layers within the kind of glasses you put on when analyzing and interpreting? Leaving this as being a rhetorical question I can only say, I love my job.

  2. Yes I suppose the meaning of actually reading is that one. As I feel I change my mind very very easily I must admit that I’ve never asked to myself the real meaning of actually reading, I’ve always considered it as something new that deserves to be discovered and appreciated day by day,as you do when leafing through the pages of a book, because every time it has the power to surprise me.. As sometimes I feel I’m too boringly sensible about some things, I’ve never been enough confident to ask myself what others could take for granted. As for the glasses…, oh!, Understanding the fine and subtle nuances is good but managing to find or just imagine other aspects while interpreting is so so great!!! I think it is as in that moment was not just wearing glasses but use them as a prism in which the words are the light and our head was the prism, as kids do,letting the colours reflect and almost dance on the wall, we’re free to move the prism and find new ways to see the reality through literature, as you said going beyond the obvious, I feel a little bit sorry I met just few people so far who can appreciate this special kind of literary activity ;). I tried to teach sweetly and slowly to my nephews how beautiful it could be reading, starting with books by Roald Dahl. I managed to do a good job with my niece but sadly I recently had to listen from my nephew that he doesn’t like books because he can’t tell previoulsly and certainly what it will happen as he does with Tv -which I think is actually the death of the power of imagination that reading gives us, isn’t it?- so in front of this kind of answers sometimes I feel like an hyper sensible weird kind of alien who loves books and from two or three years learnead to appreciate more poems. But then meet some few people who loves so much literature as I do makes me feel better ;). I did read Çiçekoğlu in Italian as my Turkish is not good yet but I can’t wait to improve it in order to appreciate more and more literature in Turkish.

Kommentar verfassen

Trage deine Daten unten ein oder klicke ein Icon um dich einzuloggen:


Du kommentierst mit Deinem WordPress.com-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Google Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Google-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )


Du kommentierst mit Deinem Twitter-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )


Du kommentierst mit Deinem Facebook-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Verbinde mit %s