Thursday, April 12, 2012


"As a paradigm of the modern self, the set of different-coloured notebooks belonging to the writer (and divorcee, and single parent) Anna Wulf continues to serve the novel's themes of compartmentalisation and breakdown half a century on. These notebooks represent the strain to personality of unintegrated consciousness, and it remains as characteristic of (female) experience now as then that what Lessing calls the existence of "false dichotomies and divisions" – the self as fragmentary and compartmentalised and thus as potentially dishonest in and of itself – damages individuality and its status in culture. The artificial-personal supplants the universal-personal; truth becomes intermittent and fractured, calling for madness, breakdown and disintegration of personality in order for division and falsehood to be swept away. The different notebooks can no longer be written in: only the book of synthesis, the golden notebook, has a future. This compelling idea, so classical in its interpretations of violence and change, continues to offer a valid way of thinking about who we are and why," Rachel Cusk, Doris Lessing's Golden Notebook, 50 Years On, The Guardian, 6 April 2012.

"What is meant by authenticity is that in acting, one should act as oneself, not as One acts or as one's genes or any other essence require. The authentic act is one that is in accordance with one's freedom. Of course, as a condition of freedom is facticity, this includes one's facticity, but not to the degree that this facticity can in any way determine one's choices (in the sense that one could then blame one's background for making the choice one made). The role of facticity in relation to authenticity involves letting one's actual values come into play when one makes a choice (instead of, like Kierkegaard's Aesthete, "choosing" randomly), so that one also takes responsibility for the act instead of choosing either-or without allowing the options to have different values," Wikipedia entry on Existentialism, accessed 09.04.2012.

"In Level IV the person takes full control of his or her development. The involuntary spontaneous development of Level III is replaced by a deliberate, conscious and self-directed review of life from the multilevel perspective. This level marks the real emergence of the third factor, described by Dąbrowski as an autonomous factor "of conscious choice (valuation) by which one affirms or rejects certain qualities in oneself and in one's environment". The person consciously reviews his or her existing belief system and tries to replace lower, automatic views and reactions with carefully thought out, examined and chosen ideals. These new values will increasingly be reflected in the person's behavior. Behavior becomes less reactive, less automatic and more deliberate as behavioral choices fall under the influence of the person's higher, chosen ideals," Wikipedia entry on Positive Disintegration, accessed 09.04.2012.

Who am I? If my life was a deck of cards, not one card would match another one.
I am aware of all the unfairness and inequality of opportunity, but still value hard work, determination and merit above all else as if people are in fact responsible for their achievements (or the lack thereof.) I am aware of all the unfairness and inequality of opportunity, but I increasingly despise (yes, this is the right word) the ignorant, blindly conservative, selfish and irresponsible people in this country. Maybe I am a leftist elitist!

I like financial security, nice clothes, chic neighborhoods and bohemian neighborhoods, nice flats in renovated buildings, good food from all cuisines and terrace bars, art exhibitions and concerts and good movies, novels and reference books on bookshelves and traveling and successful men, when at the same time I look down on the old rich, the new rich and hipsters for their consumerism and oblivion. I like my colleagues because they are hard working, smart and down-to-earth people, and I want to form life-long friendships with them, but I also don't want to lose anything that makes me different. I am not entirely committed to my job and company because I have other ambitions, but I also feel proud of our good work and instinctively scared of being unsuccessful and losing my "standing" when in fact it should not have much value given that I didn't want to be in the corporate world to start with. I wrote short stories for my creative writing class but haven't written anything since the class is over - my new "hobby" is journalism (yet again.) I have always wanted a committed, loving relationship, and I always thought such a relationship should require no management, but I'm finally realizing this is not the case after several blunders. I thought children took a woman's life from her, but now I want children. I'm certainly not religious and not even sure whether I'm a believer at all, but I believe in astrology, even as I realize based on my observations of cab drivers that every race, occupation and sign has smart and stupid, good and bad people. I like Mad Men and Turkish soap operas (though not as much as before, thankfully). I have donated blood, but I'm afraid of becoming a bone marrow donor. I'm bragging and I'm complaining.

I came to İstanbul to start a new life and ended up leading a very familiar one.

The list could go on forever like an Alanis Morissette song. And some people are speaking of the importance of being sincere. At any given moment I am the totality of all these contradictions, and I think everybody is, no matter how hard we try to look over or rationalize them. And although I like to think that I stick to my word, I do change my mind over time. If being sincere means faithfulness to any one of these fragments for any one moment in time, I'm sure it has its value. But it does not amount to much.


Meryem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meryem said...

Unfortunately the more you pull at the thread of your conscious self the more it unravels, and what you assume to be a complex, logical structure turns out to be loosely related ideas, memories and feelings woven together by an inconsistent narrative. So good luck :)

I've been told it's simpler to just lie to yourself, although I've not been instructed as to how.

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