“Authorship is a journey into joy”

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Mario Levi, one of the important novelists of Turkish, talked about his life as a writer, describing his experiences in authorship to the participants of the Turkish Literature Summer School in a lecture entitled “Mario Levi’s World and Istanbul.” Levi pointed out that his ancestors migrated from Andalusia to the Ottoman lands in 1490s, and then, to Istanbul, and he has been working to describe the story of this migration in a novel for several months.

Levi noted that writers seek to discover the existing truth. “We don’t create anything out of nothing. What we tell already exists. We just try to discover it. Authorship is a voyage of joy, and there is still uncharted territory to discover in our literature. Perhaps, we, as writers, try to see what others insistently fail to see. What matters in literature is to have the courage to ask questions, and in fact, to call on readers to ask questions. When I said, ‘There is still territory to discover,’ I didn’t mean, ‘There are still lots of topics to narrate.’ No, there is no topic to narrate. The writer hopefuls should not aspire to find a ‘novel’ topic because there is no novel topic. But with uncharted territory, I refer to the writer himself/herself. It is his/her courage to assert himself/herself,” he said.