chapter  11
9 Pages

Artist in action

My borderland
WithMaureen Freely

Towards the end of Istanbul: Memories and a City, Orhan Pamuk describes, in some detail, the beatings to which his brother subjected him between the ages of 6 and 10. In the early days, at least, Orhan would be the first to lash out, in response, he says, to merciless teasing. But S¸evket would always win, leaving his younger, weaker brother bruised and bleeding. He never got punished. Their mother, when she intervened, would be more concerned about the broken window or the neighbour who might complain. It seemed to her inevitable that her sons would resort to violence, as it did to the boys themselves.