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Monday, February 01, 2016

A Bit about The Gaze (Elif Shafak)

Elif Shafak, Mahrem (The Gaze), 1999
(source: Book Depository)
no copyright infringement intended

She is obese, he is a dwarf; they are in love; sick of being stared by all others, they decide to play in reverse; he applies on his face a thick make-up; she paints on her face a mustache; as their romance goes on, entries to a mythological Dictionary of Gazes are added; seemingly his ambition is to create such a dictionary (or to complete an ancient dictionary, whichever comes first); their story of love, deception and dictionary on the make takes place in the Istanbul of 1999; all this is mixed with bizarre tales from the Istanbul of 1881 or so; reality shifts into dream that shifts into another reality; is it a book of sand? magical realism entered the post-modern age; she's beastly good, this Elif Shafak.

According to Helen Oyeyemi, it's playing with ideas of beauty and ugliness like they're Rubik's cubes.

(Elif Shafak)



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