Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali

I was reading an Orhan Pamuk book when a dear Turkish friend of mine recommended Sabahattin Ali’s Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali. I immediately found the ebook and started browsing through. The next thing was, I found myself completely dropping the Orhan Pamuk book and fully engaging in this intriguing story in Madonna in a Fur Coat.

Madonna in a Fur Coat

The story in Madonna in a Fur Coat is surprisingly interesting and it draws you in before you know it. It breaks your heart in places you didn’t know had existed. I, of course, read it in Turkish.  And my heart was broken in Turkish because of it. But because I LOVED it so much, I had to add this book to my collection. I found this hardback copy at an online shop in the UK hence the photo above. This’ll do while I’m searching to find an old copy of it in Turkish.

I haven’t read Madonna in Fur Coat in English. However, here’s one thing that caught my eye before I put this beauty on the shelf of my special books: One of the two translators of the English version of this book is Maureen Freely. She translated most of Orhan Pamuk’s books from Turkish into English. Go figure 🙂

From the pages of Madonna in a Fur Coat. This time in English:
The pain of losing something precious – be it happiness or material wealth – can be forgotten over time. But our missed opportunities never leave us, and every time they come back to haunt us, we ache. Or perhaps what haunts us is that nagging thought that things might have turned out differently. Because without that thought, we would put it down to fate and accept it.

It is, perhaps, easier to dismiss a man whose face gives no indication of an inner life. And what a pity that is: a dash of curiosity is all it takes to stumble upon treasures we never expected.

Everyone had an idea as to how to save Germany. However, none of these proposals had anything to do with Germany. Rather, they were tied to personal interests.

Just as warm sunlight can, by passing through a lens, turn to fire, so too can love. It’s wrong to see it as something that swoops in from the outside. It’s because it arises from the feelings we carry inside us that it strikes with such violence, at the moment we least expect.

People can only get to know each other up to a point and then they make up the rest, until one day, seeing their mistake, they turn their backs on sadness and run away. Would this ever happen, if they stopped believing their dreams and made do with what was possible? If everyone accepted what was natural, then no one would suffer disappointment, no one would curse fate. We have every right to see our situation as pitiful, but we must confine our pity to ourselves. To pity another is to assume superiority and that is why we must never think we are superior to others, or that others are more unfortunate.

Ever since boyhood, I’d feared wasting any happiness that came my way; I’d always wanted to save some of it for later. This had caused me to miss many opportunities.

For even the most wretched and simple-minded man could be a surprise, even a fool could have a soul whose torments were a constant source of amazement. Why are we so slow to see this, and why do we assume that it is the easiest thing in the world to know and judge another?
The logic in our minds had always been at odds with the logic of life itself.
Life is a game that is only played once, and I lost. There is no second chance.
[…]trivial details were what true life was made of.