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What hides the mysterious face of the Madonna?

Assassinated by his ideas in 1948, Sabahattin Ali wrote a classic revered by generations of Turks and now arrives in Spain

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What hides the mysterious face of the Madonna?

Sabahattin Ali (1907-1948) is still a blemish in history of Turkey. It is listed in shameful list of murdered Turkish writers and journalists, and also in unresolved political crimes. It is believed that eir he was killed by a secret Service agent or he was tortured to death in police custody somewhere near border with Bulgaria, where he sought refuge by fleeing persecution of his communist ideas. His body, like that of Lorca, never appeared and his relatives could never bury him.

' Madona in fur coat ' is very dear to young people, who are recognized in character and in ir way of loving

Filiz Ali

"They never gave us explanations. Whenever, through lawyers, my mor tried to get answers, state refused m. Later, I myself tried to force politicians to desclasificasen files of 1948 and 1949, but deputies of reactionary right always refused to reopen m, "says pianist and musicologist Filiz Ali, daughter of writer, who cries as girl who was When his far was snatched from him. "Whenever I talk about him I end up crying. Maybe because n we couldn't cry. For a long time, my mor and I refused to accept that she would have died because we didn't see her corpse. For us it is still a missing person, "it is excused retouching its old eyelids of eighty years with tip of shawl that covers shoulders. During his formative years, at school and conservatory, Filiz Ali had to hide who his far was; In those fifties it was not possible to say openly that one was daughter of a communist. The works of Sabahattin Ali were silent, y would not see light again until 1965, and even decades later y were published little.

The Turkish writer Filiz Ali.

Instead, today, his books are devoured by Turkish readers, especially young people. The three novels he wrote have become best-selling. The main, Madonna with fur coat – which narrates love story between Raif Efendi, sent by his far to Germany to begin in secrets of Making of toilet soaps, and an artist, Maria can, whose face has been entrusted to see it in a picture – ha V Endido more than 1.6 million of specimens in Turkey in last two decades and for three years does not come down from list of most sold works. It has also begun to translate into foreign languages: Spanish version, by Rafael Carpintero, has just published Salamandra editions.

There are reasons for this success, like that last decade, finally, Ministry of Education included it in curriculum of reading or that a novel, bestseller in 2014, convert to Sabahattin Ali in one of protagonists of his book. But explanation goes furr. "Madona with fur coat is very dear to young people, who are recognized in character and in way y love. Many readers tell me that my far perfectly describes what y feel, that he is able to capture his most hidden feelings and verbalize what y had thought for so long, "says Filiz Ali.

A woman in advance

But book is much more than a well-counted idyll. When he left printing press, most outstanding Turkish poet of twentieth century, Nazim Hikmet, read it in Bursa prison and said that he liked it as much as it provoked anger. For him, beginning of work was of a "magisterial realism" and it seemed a "waste" to have used those pages to wrap a "great story", that of Maria can, which does not begin well into page 60. There are two stories that intertwine: one, that of discovery by initial protagonist of novel of his office partner, Raif Efendi, a man of nimia appearance and to whom all despise, reflects following, discovery, on part of Raif Efendi – who will become protagonist and narrator voice – of mysterious woman who hides behind portrait of Madonna.

Sabahattin Ali was an early feminist. I thought that women should be strong, educated and participate in public life on equal terms

Filiz Ali

A woman who may not be as mysterious as anticipated in her time. In front of quiet and timid Raif Efendi, to which ors attribute feminine characteristics ( sexual roles are exchanged), Maria can is a strong woman, a woman who exclaims: "Do you know why I hate you so much, that is, all men of world? For all that y demand of ors as if that were ir natural right. To understand ir arrogance, just look at bewilderment that causes a woman to refuse to any of ir requirements. "

"To be able was a real woman. Years after my far's death, a friend of hers published letters he had sent him from prison. In one of m, he says that in his single days in Germany he had been in love with a woman and that she, say, tolerated that love but it was not his. However, in character re are also or women whom he admired, "says daughter:" Sabahattin Ali was an early feminist. I thought that women should be strong, educated and participate in public life on equal terms as men. "

Sabahattin Ali is back with strength. It is a posthumous vindication – belated and unable to repair pain caused, like all vengeance – but it shows that words and ideas always survive ir gravediggers.

A ' The keeper among Turkish rye '

Despite being written in 1940 and set on horseback between Ankara of 1930s and Berlin of Twenties – with its cabarets, its post-war atmosphere and nascent anti-Semitism as a backdrop – it has been able to become a cult novel for youth ACTU Al, what keeper between Salinger's Rye was for us teenagers. And it is that warmth, humanity and precision with which Ali describes feelings, human relationships, even traps that puts his own mind when approaching anor person, make it a classic. "My far was a humanist. He was very keen and had a great talent for observation. Everything aroused curiosity, from operation of a machine to forests of Amazon. And he was a great talker, he loved to interact with people of all social classes. "


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