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Madonna in a Fur Coat

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Madonna in A Fur Coat, first published in 1943, is his best loved work and a touchstone of Turkish literary culture which continues to resonate profoundly with readers young and old today.

Yet, I wanted to keep the experience of reading it within me for a little longer, cocooned in the notion that it was meant just to be mine. However, it is commonly believed that Ali died while being interrogated by the National Security Service, and that Ertekin, with whom the service had links, was chosen to take the blame.In his last letter to his wife, he boasted that the next time she heard from him, he would be writing from Italy, France or England. He has lost his will to live, and eventually marries a woman that she doesn't like, and lives with her in between the furniture he bought for Maria. Philip Arditti invests the text with pitch perfect emotion from Maria's fierce speeches to Raif's anxiety, even an audible smile of delight a key moment without ever overwhelming the text. It’s also a story about living in a prejudiced society which rewards certain egoistic behavioural patterns and humiliates the ones who do not conform to its norms and want to live according to their values of compassion, equality and kindness. And here we come to what the novelist and critic Kaya Genç sees as the key to the mystery of Ali’s suddenly renewed fame.

Reading the description of the book along with the reviews I thought it would be a good book but my god what a dull book! At this point, we have an elegiac flashback told in Raif's own words: sadness, pain and longing infuse this tale of a seemingly soulless man. After proving his allegiance to Atatürk by writing the poem "Benim Aşkım" (literally: My Love or My Passion), he was assigned to the publications division at the Ministry of National Education. Sabahattin Ali's daughter, Filiz Ali, in an interview with BBC, has stated that she found Maria was inspired by a real life acquaintance of Sabahattin.They include a leather jacket, a wristwatch, a pair of glasses, a shaving kit, a bottle of cologne, a notebook, a pencil case, a Balzac novel, another volume by Onegin, a notebook, a stack of well-leafed newspapers, and scattered photographs which are hard to see, except for one – of his wife Aliye – that has been artfully propped against his briefcase. During the cold war, they were translated into a number of languages in the Soviet bloc, and they are still much read in Bulgaria. When at last they make friends, it becomes clear that Raif’s reason for living cannot be his family. While he works in his olive fields, his only source of joy is Maria's letters, until one day the letters stop coming. She has published seven novels and numerous translations of twentieth century Turkish classics and contemporary authors including five books by the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk.

It's about this quiet guy, Raif, a quiet dreamer who favored the realms of his imagination over the concrete world, falling in love with a woman in a painting. Publication dates are subject to change (although this is an extremely uncommon occurrence overall). The city's crowded streets, thriving arts scene, passionate politics and seedy cabarets provide the backdrop for a chance meeting with a woman, which will haunt him for the rest of his life.

But there is also a notebook, hidden in his desk drawer at work, which he asks his friend to destroy. The city’s crowded streets, thriving arts scene, passionate politics and seedy cabarets provide the backdrop for a chance meeting with a woman, which will haunt him for the rest of his life, in this emotionally powerful, intensely atmospheric and touchingly profound novel about new beginnings and the unfathomable nature of the human soul. Instead, he wrote Madonna in a Fur Coat, conjuring up a time and a place in which it was possible to be true to one’s nature, with air to breathe, and to live and love without pretence, if only for a brief period. Told that he would never again find work as a teacher unless he was able to prove that he had changed his thinking, he published a poem in praise of Ataturk, entitled “My Love”.

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