One of my criteria for rating a piece of fiction is this Would I, or have I read it than once No matter how good, I almost never watch a movie than once But some books, I come back to over and over This is such a book I have read it several times For me it is always entertaining and moving Set in Turkey, and written by a Noble Prize nominee, it is a kind of Robin Hood saga I tell all my students that if they wish to understand the prophetic passion for social justice that is to be found in the Old Testament, read Memed, My Halk One is constantly outraged by the too real injustice suffered by Memed and the uncommon heroism of Memed as he fights and rises above it The translation from Turkish is excellent This little known book deserves to be better known Its author deserves to be widely read. Yashar Kemal is probably the best known author from that most admirable of Middle Eastern peoples The Kurds His Memed, My Hawk is a folk tale of injustice by a cruel landlord turning a young farmer s son to brigandage At the same time he is a brigand, he is scrupulously justice, especially when dealing with the poor and the innocent Slim Memed, as he is called, is a hero created by an author who doesn t believe in heroes In his introduction to the New York Review Books edition, Kemal writes I have never believed in heroes Even in those novels in which I focus on revolt I have tried to highlight the fact that those we call heroes are in effect instruments wielded by the people The peoplecreate and protect these instruments and stand or fall together vwith them.Still and all, Kemal was to write three books featuring Slim Memed For the first one, he was shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1973 That award was won by the Australian Patrick White I think it should have gone to Kemal.Kemal s villain is the landlord Abdi Agha, one of the most craven and beastly characters in all of literature It is not until the end that Memed shoots three bullets into his chest, killing him but he had been spiritually dead for years after Memed killed his nephew and wounded him. I m a native speaker of the language in which this wonderful work of literature is written Turkish.After reading the comments on the book here,I ve started to think of reading it in English too because I ve always thought its English translation could not possibly match its original version since cultural elements are a dominant part of the books.I see that I m wrong,though and I m glad for it.I strongly recommend the whole series composed of 4 books,which shows Ya ar Kemal s extraordinary talent in understanding and describing human nature.The story takes place in Cukurova,Turkey however,the feelings that the characters are involved in are mostly universal making the book a world classic.
This modern classic was first published in 1955 The tale is of a boy Ince Memed growing up in a rural village on central Anatolia who escapes the tyranny of a brutal local landlord by becoming a bandit hiding out in the rough country of the Taurus mountains We experience him developing into a legend with overtones of Robin Hood and facing moral challenges to the good heart we can t help rooting for, all the while fearing an end in a shootout like Bonnie and Clyde The story is told with a sublime lyrical rendering of this place and people where Kemal grew up in a family of Kurdish immigrants He captures the beauty so well of this arid high plains in the mountain foothills The rhythms of village life among the subsistence farmers and herders of the region are portrayed so vividly with all the senses sight, sound, touch, and smell Every action feels larger than life, reaching for a new mythology to give meaning to the human struggle We first encounter Memed at about 12 running away over a ridgeline to seek refuge with a farmer at a neighboring village He tells of his life as a virtual slave to Abdi Agha, who owns all the land of five villages and cruelly lords it over its residents For two years I ve plowed his fields The thistles devour me They bite me Those thistles tear at your legs like a mad dog That s the sort of field I plowed Every day Abdi Agha beat me, beat me to death My father was dead and Abdi Agha took what little we had away from us If my mother complained, he beat her cruelly and would beat me too Once he tied me to a tree and left me there in the middle of the plain, far from the village I stayed tied to the tree for two days, till Mother came and freed me But for her the wolves would have torn me to pieces.He is captured and returned to work and punishment, but the dream of escape is awakened, and he bides his time But Agha takes the majority of their grain crop for his own, and it is only though the charity of an old bandit living anonymously in their region that they avoid starvation At 16, he falls in love with a sweet, industrious village girl, Hatche Their love becomes part of legend that will develop about Memed after he becomes a bandit Every night, whatever happened, they would meet If not, neither of them could sleep at all Hatche s mother once caught them and punished her daughter It was no use She put lock after lock on her door Hatche found a way around every obstacle She knitted stockings and kerchiefs for Memed and invented songs over them, expressing love, desire, and jealousy in the colors of her embroidery and in the notes of her songs that are still sung throughout the Taurus People who saw her stockings were thrilled, and those who hear or sing her songs still feel a thrill like the freshness of spring when everything is green.People who see Memed in this period sometimes become aware of the rebellion lurking in his spirit All his life and energy, his hate, love, courage, and anxiety were concentrated in his big eyes Every now and then a tiny spark would light them up and then die, a sharp, piercing spark, to be feared like the spark that flickers briefly in the eye of a tiger ready to pounce and tear its prey Where does this spark come from Perhaps one is born with it More likely it is born of torment, pain, anxiety It had come to stay in Memed s eyes in the past year, though the light of wonder and pleasure had always glistened in his childish gaze before.Once Memed makes his escape, he comes to be part of a new tribe of sorts and has to negotiate a tough path among many bloodthirsty and lawless men While some of their leaders are cruel and murderous, he eventually inspires others toward a less brutal ethos and hope of liberating his home region from Agha s oppression His girlfriend is imprisoned for helping him escape, and the dream of freeing her and living a normal life dwells deep in his heart As larger and larger police contingents pursue him in his mountain hideout, his plans must become even bolder to achieve his aims Good deeds rendered to others along his life journey are paid back in propitious ways.I love how it slowly dawns on Memed that life is better elsewhere in the larger world Not only might there be places free from tyrant landlords and with easier farming of loamy, well watered fields free of thistles, there are cities beyond his imagination A man he encounters puts this vision in his mind There s a city there, Adana, all of clear glass It sparkles day and night, just like the sun You walk in the alleys between the houses, they call them streets, and it s all glass It s as clean as can be Trains come and go On the sea, ships as big as villages go to the other end of the world Everything shimes like the sun, bathed in light If you look at it just once, you can t take your eyes away If it s money you want, it pours like a flood in the Chukurova All you ve got to do is work.In Kemal s introduction, he explains his fascination with people who are destined to become rebels committed to a cause I have never believed in heroes Even in those novels in which I focus on revolt I have tried to highlight the fact that those we call heroes are in effect instruments wielded by the people The people create and protect those instruments and stand or fall together with them That is because there is a germ of revolt within every human being, just as there is a creative power, and it is this feeling of revolt that produces the committed person What I understood was that when people find themselves cornered, when they feel the pain of death in their heart, they tend to create a world of myth in which they try to take refuge By creating myths, by conjuring up worlds of dreams, one can withstand the great suffering of the world and attain love, friendship, beauty, and, even perhaps, immortality.I was greatly moved by this mini epic with Homeric ovetones I thank Goodreads friend Baran for recommending this book and look forward to continued exploration of readings in Turkish literature and history. Yashar Kemal is able to evoke the arid, yet effervescent, land of Taurus from the ebullient sunsets to the incandescent moon light, to the pellucid mountain slopes and parched plains or the baleful lives of the peasantry who struggle to survive beneath the oppression of feudalism, all of this is conjured up within the poetry of Kemal s prose.The central character aside from the protagonist Memed, is the country in which the story is set Kemal Desolate, yet beautiful, Kemal captures the deciduous and ethereal sunsets which illuminate the country, transmogrifying everything into a kaleidoscope of different colours, textures and tones, shedding some light on the bleakness of the peasants lives there is something almost religious about Kemal s evocations of nature, something sacrosanct about the land which the workers toil under the turgid oppression of the landowners even the prickly thistles are transformed in the sun light In spring the thistles are an anaemic, pale green A light breeze can bend them to the earth By midsummer the first blue veins appear on the stems Then the branches and the whole stem turn a pale blue Later this blue grows steadily deeper, till a field, the whole boundless plain, becomes a sea of the finest blue If a wind blows, towards sunset, the blue thistles ripple like the sea and rustle just as the sea turns road at sunset, so do the thistles At times the novel seems to be bathed in sun light, as the never ending brightness of the sun shines upon the land, upon the mountains, the swamps and the brooks, as colours coalesce from purple, to blue, to green and a glaring yellow In contrast to this is the pale luminescence of the moon light, as the world becomes a colder and darker place, but with a beauty which is delicate and ephemeral if sunlight transforms, then moonlight enhances and draws out the beauty of nature, as the whole world seems to be drowning beneath a sea of melancholy as its torrents are washing over the characters.The lead character, Memed, acts as a kind of Robin Hood for the local peasants who are struggling under the oppression of the landlords The primary antagonist in the novel is the cruel land owner Abdi Agha whilst the characters are drawn out relatively well, what is important is what they represent the powerless peasants, whose fickle cowardice allows Abdi Agha to dominate them, Abdi Agha and other landowners such as Ali Safa Bey, whose greed and avarice are responsible for the poverty of the peasantry and of heroic figures such as Memed, who represents the key with which to unlock the vice of oppression and to free the workers from the shackles of their masters, who constantly seek to coerce and dehumanise them Although Kemal is clearly sympathetic to the plight of the peasantry he is also critical of their inability to fight back and rely on others, such as Memed, to win back their lands and rights without the active involvement of the workers The workers will never free themselves from the tyranny of the land owners until they themselves also begin to confront the injustice of the system which envelops them and although Kemal feels they were initially over reliant on others to take back what is theirs, Memed s actions in some ways act as the spark which will eventually set their revolution ablaze, just as the sun is able to transform the thickles into something radiant. Wayyyyyyyyyy longer than it needed to be and it was only book 1 of 4 by the 200 page mark I already gave up on the narrative It is of important historical significance, especially to Kurdish people, BUT for someone estranged with the geography and the political climate, it drags on without any apparent purpose. This book is written in the style of a folk tale as a series of events and adventures Within those parameters it works very well, but it is very much a show not tell style and lacking in emotional depth You know what people do, but very little about what they feel The descriptions of lives and places are detailed and easy to imagine, even if you have never seen anything of rural Turkey.The book is worth reading for the way of life it depicts and the story, just don t expect introspection. *DOWNLOAD EPUB ☆ İnce Memed ☟ Otuz iki y ll k bir zaman diliminde yaz lan nce Memed d rtl s d zene ba kald ran Memed in ve insan ili kileri, do as ve renkleriyle ukurova n n yk s d r Ya ar Kemal in s yleyi iyle i inde ba kald rma kurduysa do mu bir insan n, mecbur adam n romanAbdi A a n n zulm yle k y n terk etmek zorunda kalan Memed, A a n n ye eniyle evlendirilmek zere olan Hat e yi ka r r Abdi A a y yaralayan, ye enini de ld ren Memed e k ya Deli Durdu ya kat l r, ancak k y c l na katlanamad Deli Durdu dan iki arkada yla birlikte ayr l r Memed, s radan bir k y ocu uyken, zulmedenler i in e k yaya, k yl ler i inse bir kurtar c ya d n r Bir ya am bi imini bir halk n portresi olarak b ylesine veren bu romandan daha iyisi yaz lamazd The New York Times Book Review, ABD a rt c , orijinal bir kitap Sunday Times, ngiltere Epik boyutlara ula an ve muhte em bir sona ula mak i in h z kazanan yk ye kendinizi kapt r yorsunuz Sunday Times, ngiltere Ya ar Kemal, a lacak l de yarat c The Booksell, ngiltere Ya ar Kemal, karakterlerini unutulmaz, se kin ve ger ek hayattan daha da ger ek i k lan detay zenginli i ile Rus Edebiyat n n kalitesine ula yor I already had this checked out from the library for my ongoing reading of Turkish literature when I came across a mention of the author in The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux I ve had a great many reading coincidences lately It isn t surprising that this book was originally published in serial form It has the distinct feel of sections, with repetition that would have been unnecessary if it had originally been one volume Those repetitions were tiring to this reader, and I have the same beef with this novel as I do with many epic fantasies too much time spent following the hero as he tromps around the hills, chasing down his foes or running from his enemies And then when you consider that this is merely the first book of the Ince Memed series, this could spiral into the repetition of quests and heros that I m just not personally much of a fan of It will be perfect for some readers.Still, I m glad I read it I felt like the author gives vivid descriptions of the landscape of the eastern part of the country, and gives insight into the period of transition before World War I in how villages and farms were run This isn t the first novel I ve read from or about Turkey with large groups of people living on the run This book merits all the praise that it has received It provides an outstanding view of life in the Anatolian highlands in the 1920s The fall of the Ottman empire at the end of World War I has profoundly affected the social order in Turkey Many of the old feudal families have lost their holdings At the same time a class of nouveau richer has emerged and is making every effort to create a new feudalism by wresting the land holdings away from the peasants.Some of the dispossessed have formed bands of brigands These brigands quickly become clients of the large landholders and assist them to increase their holdings by intimidating those peasants who are resisting Memed our hero however is a good brigand who sides with the small landowners For many readers, having a Robin Hood type to cheer for adds considerably to the charm of the book I find it a somewhat contrived element in what is nonetheless a masterful portrait of a forgotten but important component of Twentieth Century history.