Posts Tagged ‘publications’
Adventurous readers! Those of you who are in Istanbul this Saturday (Feb 25) are warmly encouraged to attend the first-ever Koç University International Artist-in-Residence Workshop, where I will be appearing in my capacity as a living specimen of the writer-in-residence. Come gape at me between 16:20 and 16:50 in the ANAMED library (Istiklal 181, Taksim), right before “Example of an Artist Residency Program from Göteborg, Sweden.”
I am also super-proud to share with you today my international photography debut, in the forthcoming Czech translation of Dimiter Kenarov’s Apocryphal Animals (a bestseller in its native Bulgarian). I am planning to borrow “Apocryphal Animal” as the title for my talk about being a writer-in-residence.
Click on the image to enlarge and admire both my masterful photography, as well as the elusive image of a blue deer shedding tears of blood!
As a special online supplement, I have decided to share with you today a glimpse into the writer-editor negotiating process (a recurring theme in my life and thoughts). I submit for your consideration an excerpt from an email in which my super-heroic editor was trying to get me to cut some lines that he said were confusing (he was right, they were confusing):
… Do you think you could reconsider on this last matter? I did everything else… and, by way of compromise, restoring the balance back toward subjectivity and misreading, I’ve added back a penis joke elsewhere! The one about the samovar… x L
This kind and tactful message really made me think about how I am perceived as a writer, viz. as someone who is always trying to include more penis jokes. It’s not an unjust perception. My first New Yorker piece this year, a profile of Istanbul football fanatics, referenced a penis-related viral video phenomenon; next I wrote a rather melancholy excursus on birdwatching in Kars, which nonetheless included a lighthearted mention of the duck holding the highest vertebrate penis-to-body-length ratio.
Earlier this month, I was very happy to spend two days at the Frankfurt Book Fair, promoting the German edition of my book and impressing the German media with my air of misery and depression. I am told that the following headline, from the Frankfurter Allgemeine Feuilleton, alludes to the terrible time I was having (full text up here):
The photo caption, according to Google Translate: “Elif Batuman, just before the bad mood was.”
I do remember being puzzled by that interview, since the interviewer didn’t actually ask any questions; he mostly just wanted to discuss his theory that the attendees of the Frankfurt Book Fair are possessed by literature. Historically, of course, it is a very thin line separating the possessed from the grouchy.
A brief outtake from “Natural Histories” (New Yorker, 24 October 2011):
Although Çağan and I both eventually went to Stanford for grad school, we rarely crossed paths. One day, however, I received an announcement for a lecture he was giving on the wildlife of Sulawesi, Indonesia, where religious warfare had overshadowed the endemic fauna, including “tiny primates that look like gremlins.” As I contemplated the attached image of a spectral tarsier—its enigmatic little face, meek half-smile and gigantic eyes—I was deeply impressed by the range of human and nonhuman endeavor on earth. Right across campus in the literature department, I was studying the mimetic theory of religious and sacrificial violence. Had it ever occurred to me to think of the saucer-eyed creatures living out their parallel existences in the underbrush?
SPECTRAL TARSIER / PHOTO BY ÇAĞAN ŞEKERCIOĞLU