Tuesday, March 16, 2010

An electonic letter, from Istanbul.

This is the sort of thing that makes my days.

An electonic letter, from Istanbul.

Hi Mr. King,

I'm Onur Karagöz from Turkey, Istanbul.
A musician and also teaching in the university.
We have an experimental, ambient and noise band here in Istanbul.
It's not a written music, improvisation.
On the stage I read some texts from Allen Ginsberg, Burroughs,
I put some texts from different writers infront of me and make a collage of
words and sentences freely.
It's an improvisation also...
I want to read some Ece Ayhan poems in english and here in Turkey I heard
that you translated some of them in english.
How can I find them and get them?

Can you help me?

these are the links of the music;

I checked out the music, and would suggest anyone do the same. It's really varied and cool. Lots of songs on both sites.

Right now I am pretty far down on the MySpace tracklist, at "fjord focus", and right through here are keening vocables moaned over drone & ambient music.

Not sure words would express how stoked I am to be the go-to guy in America for Turkish poets and musicians looking to hook up with a like mind on this side of the pond. But it's my distinct pleasure to hear from a character like Onur Karagöz on a regular basis.

I sent him the text of Blind Cat Black by Ece Ayhan, translated not by me, but by my friend Murat Nemet-Nejat, and once published in a nice slim volume by Sun & Moon Press.

I have set this poetry to music with the collective Poetry Scores. Also, my review of the original Sun & Moon edition in The Nation magazine (New York) was translated into Turkish and republished in Istanbul. So my name is all tangled up with this gorgeous, creepy poem in Turkey.

The only Turkish poetry I have had any hand in translating, however, was the complete poetry of the immortal Orhan Veli. Defne Halman and I knocked that out in New York some years ago.

There was always talk of Syracuse University Press putting that out into the print universe, in its Middle East Literature in Translation series, but Defo and I both are lame with the formal and commercial aspects of doing these things.

Her father, modern Turkey's single greatest scholar, Professor Talat S. Halman, better known to we neophyte translators as "God", knows the ropes, but Papa is Ankara (still?) and has his own oceans of fish to fry.

I have at least reached out to Defo for a complete text of our Orhan Veli translations, so I can post it up here and share it with the Onur Karagöz spirits of Planet Earth. And hey, I found it! So here you go:

Some Days Just Loony: The Complete Poetry of Orhan Veli,
Translated by Defne Halman and Chris King
The link leads to a prompt to download a Word document.
All rights reserved to the translation.


Photo of Bicycle Day (the band with Onur Karagöz) from the MySpace.

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