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Forebodings Two Sketches part 3

“Let my fate go whither it listeth.”

In the darkest corner of a ward, in the bed marked number twenty- four, a farm laborer of about thirty years of age had been lying for several months. A black wooden tablet, bearing the words “Caries tuberculosa,” hung at the head of the bed, and shook at each movement of the patient. The poor fellow`s leg had had to be amputated above the knee, the result of a tubercular decay of the bone. He was a peasant, a potato-grower, and his forefathers had grown potatoes before him. He was now on his own, after having been in two situations; had been married for three years and had a baby son with a tuft of flaven hair. Then suddenly, from no cause that he could tell, his knee had pained him, and small ulcers had formed. He had afforded himself a carriage to the town, and there he had been handed over to the hospital at the expense of the parish.

He remembered distinctly how on that autumn afternoon he had driven in the splendid, cushioned carriage with his young wife, how they had both wept with fright and grief, and when they had finished crying had eaten hard-boiled eggs: but what had happened after that had all become blurred—indescribably misty. Yet only partially so.

Inexorable and brutal force

Of the days in the hospital with their routine and monotony, creating an incomprehensible break in his life, his memory retained nothing; but the unchanging grief, weighing like a slab of stone on a grave, was ever present in his soul with inexorable and brutal force during these many months. He only half recalled the strange wonders that had been worked on him: bathing, feeding, probing into the wound, and later on the operation. He had been carried into a room full of gentlemen wearing aprons spotted with blood; he was conscious also of the mysterious, intrepid courage which, like a merciful hand, had supported him from that hour.

After having gazed at the awe-inspiring phenomena which surrounded him in the semicircle of the hospital theater, he had slept during the operation. His simple heart had not worked out the lesson which sleep, the greatest mistress on earth, teaches. After the operation everything had been veiled by mortal lassitude. This had continued, but in the afternoon and at night they had mixed something heavy, like a stone ball, into his drinking-cup, and waves of warmth had flowed to the toes of his healthy foot from the cup. Thoughts chased one another swiftly, like tiny quicksilver balls through some comer of his brain, and while he lay bathed in perspiration, and his eyelids closed of their own accord, not in sleep but in unconsciousness, he had been pursued by strange, half-waking visions.

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The Soul of Veere Part 4

Then in those miniature houses there was a gradual animation, and the reappearance of life that seemed to have slept for ages behind closed doors, awaiting only the coming of the pale young man with the accordion. Behind the windows there was laughter on the faces j of young girls with their white headdresses decorated with quaint spirals sticking out like antennae.All the pretty girls of Veere were there behind their lace curtains, with mouths agape like roses in ; a cloud of bees. Seeing them thus emerge out of the deep shadows and come, with fresh complexions, to their windows, I imagined these 1 homes to be real dolls` houses brought to life by enchantment—the houses of all the dolls of Veere, with their lovely bare arms tanned by the salt air, their great bulged skirts, their little colored heads and eyes tinted like the sea.So the musician went here and there through the streets, his wild airs j changing to sad and plaintive strains that brought tears to the eyes. These were like the melancholy tunes played at sea during the night, by some little cabin boy. It was the soul of Veere, silently weeping over her lost love, sighing regretfully over all the lovely girls who now lay asleep with crosses over them, for the handsome young men who went to sea and never returned. Finally the sounds of the accordion died away far off among the dunes.When I returned to the inn I said to Pietje:“You were right. There is a boy in this town who plays his little tunes. Doubtless he is a soul in torment. Do they know what evil befell him?” The little cat-eyed creature laughed and pointed to a man seated over by the window:“Ask him,” she said. “He can tell you better than I could.”Well, the story was quite commonplace, after all. It seems that one day the lad had fallen in love with one of those doll-like creatures who come to the windows. One evening he had come to her house to dance and play the accordion. Other boys were also in the habit of coming to the same house, and they too paid their court to the girl.

Caught sight of her in the arms

When the lad wept, she would say to him, “What do you expect? I love you, but I love him, too—the boy over by the door, and I love the boy who`s coming here after you leave…. I love them all!” Once from behind the hedge he had caught sight of her in the arms of the youth who had come before him. He quickly drew his knife, and killed both the girl and the boy.And from that day to this,” continued the man who was telling the story, “he wanders through the streets, playing his little tunes. He`s quite inoffensive: children throw stones at him and the girls laugh. He doesn`t understand.”But I could not quite believe that this was the true version. Things are true only in appearance: behind even the most obvious facts there lurks a secret meaning: this must be sought for, for it is the more beautiful of the two. I therefore said to myself that this boy was the soul of Veere.I now understand why he came out of the church door. You, little town of Veere, and that poor half-witted musician are both tainted with the same quiet madness. It is as if the winds of the sea had turned your heads. Something has gone never to return, something that is lamented by your carillon, that sobs in the notes of that accordian.At Veere there is always a strange young man who walks off in the direction of the dunes and looks out over the broad expanse of the sea.

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The Soul of Veere Part 3

I was amazed at the sudden opening of the door and the appearance of a handsome young man with strange eyes. He wore a short jacket of velvet with the silver clasps ordinarily worn by the men of Zeeland. He carried an accordion such as is sold in the harbor shops and played by sailors at sea, when of an evening they draw silver tones from it, now rippling quickly and now long drawn out.The young man looked as though he had been rudely awakened out of a dream. Was this, I wondered, the boy who, as Pielje, said, was always “playing his little tunes”?He walked by me without so much as turning his head, passing along pink-tinted walls, long straight windows of aged glass, and little gardens planted with cabbage and onions. He slowly crossed the public square, while once again the little carillon rang out in crystal tones, singing its sad song of the ultimate agony of Veere.The wind softly scattered the notes and sent them flying over the roofs of houses in the direction of the sea. The singular young man placed the accordion against his shoulder, and with his fingers on the stops, expanded and contracted the bellows of the instrument. The air he played seemed to have a meaning for himself alone.

Mystery of the village

Bending his head down close to his accordion, he smiled the smile of a man who no longer belongs to this life. I thought I understood deep down in my soul that some secret cause had affected the boy`s reason, attuning it at the same time to the mystery of the village of Veere. But I could not have explained it.Then something occurred that troubled me. The young man looked up at the tower, saw the great lords standing in their niches, and then out over the distant sea, his eyes glistening with a light as of another day. ; The accordion played on faster and more furiously with a kind of madness, and it seemed as though the ancient soul of the town were suddenly set to vibrating under the deft fingers of the player. He made his ; way on and on through the streets, dancing a quaint step like a sailor`s hornpipe.He shook the ground under foot with his heels, whirled about holding the accordion high above his head, and quickly brought it down until it almost touched the paved walk; then balanced himself in one spot with an affected grace, eyes closed and face set in an ecstatic and ceremonious smile—always to the accompaniment of that rhythmical and feverish dance music, palpitating with all the abandoned ardor of a murderer or a lover.

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The Soul of Veere Part 2

Over there behind the ramparts lies the open sea with its ships, while overhead the arching sky, heavy with clouds, bears down upon the expanse of the sea. In that town I felt I was dying myself, that my feeble heart beat so faintly, while my fingers made some slight sign of life toward the sun.“That little Pietje was trying to take advantage of my credulity,”I said to myself. “Or else she`s talking about something that happened long ago, before everyone had died here.”At that moment the carillon sang out its sweet little song. It re-minded one of a Sunday afternoon in summer at grandfather`s, as the old man sat watching the dust filter in from the street under the door, his hands crossed over the head of his cane.The air it played sounded like that of some old broken music-box. The sounds trickled lazily down from the belfry and saddened me; it was as if I had suddenly heard the song that sang the last agonies of old Veere.The town hall in the public square was a pretty building, as delicately decorated as a reliquary; it had tall statues in the niches, of kings and saints. I suppose—but who now knows the history of Veere?— I made up my mind that it was doubtless the carillon to which the strange-eyed child had referred.

Possibly those shadowy eyes

And I thought almost contemptuously of those old statues, so outmoded on their daises, looking out always toward the open sea. They had stood there for centuries, with heads rigidly fixed, waiting for something that never happened. Possibly those shadowy eyes, carved out of stone, were watching for the return of fleets that one day long since set sail out of the harbor. Near the square stood an old church steeple, the key of which has for ages reposed at the bottom of the sea.The irony of it all, I mused with a smile. Everyone had left the town, and was now along the ramparts that extended all the way out to the dunes. Only a few old people were left aged folk with dirty, smudgy little shadows under their noses like the greenish mold that comes after death. And yet the stone images, with their swords and scepters, seem as though they were actually in command over the living.I went to the tower and kicked three resounding blows at the gate. I did it mainly as a sort of mockery, knowing well that no one in the solitude of that ancient House of God would respond. I also wanted to hear what a noise could be made among the shadows of death.

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The Soul of Veere Part 1

Camille Lemonnier (1844-1913)

Lemonnier has, from the very beginning of his career in 1863, re-mained an interpreter of Belgian life, and particularly of the life of the peasants. His novels are powerful exhibitions of the brutality of humankind, yet penetrated with a moving beauty of form and style. Lemonnier wrote several volumes of short stories, of which many reveal the melancholy aspect of old Flemish towns.The Soul of Veere is highly characteristic of this latter type of story.It originally appeared in a volume entitled It Was in Summer, first published in 1900. The translation by Barrett H. Clark, here printed for the first time, is included by permission of Albin Michel, publisher, Paris.

The Soul of Veere

Little Pietje, who belonged to the inn on the public square, asked J me whether I had ever seen the boy who was always “playing his little tunes?” Now, what did she mean by that? I had been in Veere : three days and had seen no one answering to her description. Good heavens, I thought to myself, can there be anyone in Veere foolish enough to do that?It would be quite useless to play music there, as the houses are invariably closed, while only on the rarest occasions do you see at a window the face of an old man, an old woman, or a pretty girl in one of those flat caps with metal plaques over the temples. Why, there would be no one to listen to him! In the strange little village of Veere, they all look like mummies on exhibition behind their little squares of green or blue glass.That is my impression of the place. If by chance I had happened to hear that boy playing his little tunes through the streets, I would have put my finger to my lips as a warning not to disturb the silence that reigned in the depths of those houses.The sun itself, in scattered flecks of gold, sleeps in the middle of the street. It is long since it fell sick trying to reawaken the town that was once alive and is now fallen into a deep slumber. Its light dies on the threshold of houses, like the footstep of a beggar who returns morning after morning to a door which no one ever opens. The shades within have bolted their doors.If I live to be a hundred I shall never forget that street in Veere, nor the little houses jutting out over sidewalks that look as though they were clasping hands in prayer. It is all so far away from life that one has doubts of one`s own existence: only a faint shadow precedes you, and you are not quite sure at first whither it leads. But it leads in the direction of the churchyard, where all else has gone.

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Istanbul Tours

Istanbul Tours – Istanbul was officially adopted as a sole name in 1930. Through the ages the city of Istanbul has changed its name several times. It is a city with intriguing history, a city of many legends, rulers… The first name of the place was Byzantium or Byzantion. It was founded by Greek colonists from Megara.

Before the city became widely known by the name Constantinople, it changed two other names, Augusta Antonina and New Rome, for a short period. Then, in honour of Constantine the Great, Istanbul was named Constantinople and became the new eastern capital of the Roman Empire.

Istanbul Tours – Konstantiniyye became the most formal

After the Ottoman conquest in 1453 the name Konstantiniyye became the most formal official name in Ottoman Turkish.With that name Istanbul became known in the Islamic world.  It remained like that for most of the time up to 1923, the year Turkey became Republic. Ottoman authorities showed preferences to other names as well during that period.

The article above has been taken from https://istanbulday.com. To learn extra, please click on the next hyperlink istanbul tours.

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Street Markets of Istanbul

Street markets (pazar) still create a good alternative for economical shopping. People who generally do their shopping at various stores get astonished when they somehow come across with the prices in street markets located at different neigbourhoods on specific days of the week. The street markets at Ulus on Thursdays, YeSilkoy on Wednesdays,

Kadikoy on Tuesdays are the most popular ones. You can buy the garments of the latest fashion at a reasonable price range. Besides you can meet your needs ranging from clothes to kitchenery, bags and decorative furniture in the street markets at Fatih on Wednesdays, BeSiktaS on Saturdays and Fmdikzade on Fridays. Street markets promise a few hours full of joy and nostalgia for remembering the acquint smell of that enthusiastic and colourful crowd, as well as an economical shopping.

Which Pazar, where, when?

Cuma Pazan Fidikzade Friday

Cuma Pazari Usktudar Friday

Cumartesi Pazari Bakirkoy Saturday

Cumartesi Pazari Besiktas Saturday

Bostanci Pazari Bostanci Wednesday

Carsamba Pazari Fatih Wednesday

Yesilkoy Pazari Yesilkoy Wednesday

Carsamba Pazari Ihlamur Wednesday

Pazar Pazari Kucukcekmece Sunday

Pazartesi Pazan Bahcelievler Monday

Persembe Pazari Etiler Thursday

Persembe Pazari Merter Thursday

Persembe Pazari Erenkoy Thursday

Persembe Pazari Ulus Thursday

Persembe Pazari Suadiye Thursday

Sail Pazan Kadikoy/Sogutlucesme Tuesday

 Istanbul that accustomed to “the universal culture”

The come and goes of the most famous artists of the world are no longer “sensational events” for the people of Istanbul; because Istanbul has a determining role in I “the universal culture circulation.”

Not so long, some 20-25 years ago, Istanbul used to be all over the place when a foreign artist came. This famous guest used to be the focus of the public opinion. All the columns and cameras used to be directed to that person. Even the most serious columnists could not help mentioning “the sensational visit.”

It has changed now. The visits of the most popular, the most distinguished, the most famous singers, stars and groups are simply not much “sensational” for Istanbul. Because, Istanbul has taken its place among “the main cultural capitals” of the world such as Paris, Rome, New York, Vienna and London, Istanbul, with its cultural/historical/natural riches that the whole humanity admires, is “an open air museum.” Its giant surface area and population, whether they want or not, is taking Istanbul next to the main megapouses of the world. With all these “plus” and “minus” qualities,

Istanbul is certainly a “world city” and “city of culture” today…

The population of Istanbul is a very interesting mosaic. People from all social groups are represented in this city. The immigration rush from all parts of Turkey has brought Istanbul to be “the synthesis of this country.” It is hard to say that “the education and culture level” is at the same level with western cities, in the demography. But the “intelligentsia” of is strong enough to be dominant in the cultural life of the city. Or, “the intellectuals of Istanbul” are not only in “artliterature areas”, they are represented in many areas. For instance, most of “the businessmen at the top” are the active elements of this “intelligentsia.” Istanbul is organizing most of the festivals that has universal prestige owing to their efforts.

Besides, Istanbul has gained many of the cultural complexes that evoke admiration by the “culture and art foundations” they established. Briefly; The very strong “intelectual consensus” of Istanbul in terms of quality has accomplished the mission to take this city among “the universal culture capitals” with a great success, Istanbul has taken its place among “the world cities that could assimilated universal culture” despite of its mixed demographic structure by the efforts of its intellectuals.

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