To Clarify This Small But Important Truth

More from the Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü:
     Whether in praise or in insults, a truth has always been forgotten in speaking of the Institute of Clock Setting. And it's this institute's tight attachment to my person, even to my past. I'm never one to deny that our institute emerged from Halit Ayarcı's power of enterprise, from his fecund thought. In every sense, he was my benefactor, my great friend. But my duty in the Institute of Clock Setting was not as those on the outside thought, as they frequently insinuated, to be only a tool, a relation of docile means. If Halid Ayarcı found it from his thought, I also, throughout my life, lived the coincidences that gave birth to it, even at the price of great sufferings. It is a fruit of my life.
     If this memoir's first duty is to deny the slanders and imputations that were directed against both the departed Halit Ayarcı and the institute, its second––barely below the first–– is to clarify this small but important truth. (p. 21)
And what I was thinking this evening about the audience of this novel –– the way it's clearly addressed to a 'you,' a reading community. When I came home the other night with the book and told my aunt I had started trying to read it––and the labor of reading Tanpınar in Turkish is another story entirely––she smiled broadly, saying, "That was just how it was then." So there's something really interesting going on, this question of witness, of observation, of history––the audience he might have been speaking to in the 1960s, and the audience which reads him now. Word by word, forward.


More in this Tanpınar series:
"Unemployed Before the Founding of This Institute"
"A Poem Recited in the Name of the Sun"


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