TE16 Turkish Delight

Letters to Shefkati Meanwhile my uncle’s family – my grandmother and great aunts and whatnot – fears for the girl and the idea of tuberculosis. Most young women who played the piano catch the contagious and cureless disease. Scared for their son too, they lie to my Uncle Nejdet: “She got married to this wealthy gentleman, and went away. She said she didn’t love you.” On top of the distance between them, my uncle now hears that she left him and falls into even greater despair. He starts spending most of his time secluded, reading her letters. The first signs of his aberration must have appeared around then. Your uncle often drifted away , they used to say. Barely, but I too remember seeing his gaze locked at nothing. As far as I know, he also talked to himself from time to time, though I have no one left to ask to. When I first heard about that, I imagined him talking to the girl in the letters, continuing his written relationship with Munevver. I think I still do. What did they say to each other? Whispers of love? A back and forthbetweenmyuncleandMissMunevver, surelynot ina tongue we could perceive. The closest interpretation can be hidden in this line that he thought me: “One life was, soi-disant, one in two bodies.” (Must be from a poem, but I never learned which.) After a while, and a lot of anxious waiting for him to get better, his family finally calls in a doctor. The green shutters never open in the meantime.


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