When I was a little girl the singers, the writers and the actors/actresses were untouchable. Noone could see them unless they are on TV or live at the stage. Noone was able to talk to them personally.
So were the politicians…
After the internet was invented, especially after Twitter, a new generation encountered “follow”ing people whom they admire, they listen, they read, they watch and even more. You can call me an old-fashioned woman but sometimes I like the people whom I admire to stay untouchable. And I don’t want to follow the politicians whose words I never believe in. (What does it mean to follow a man/woman anyway?)
But I did followed you, Isabel Allende. I found you on Twitter with a little suspense that if I were doing the right thing! I found your blog and I saw you cooking cookies which elevated you to a humanized-hero from my writer-hero. Now I feel more excited and you are more untouchable than ever. Because I think if I’d write something about/to you, I will lose my place behind the curtains, where I was secretly reading you.
This is not the first time I write about you. But this is the first time I write to you. My (in fact ‘our’, because we wrote it togehter with a friend of mine, Alanur) first essay about you was named as “Durup duruken İsabel Allende; Unexpectedly Isabel Allende”.(Don’t worry, I won’t bother you by giving the link of an essay written in Turkish which probably you can’t understand at all.) We started as we didn’t need a 50th anniversary or something to mention about you. At that time we had read all of your books, we had read about your life, we had read about your country and we had read about Salvador Allende!
I have to confess that I recently learned your 12th book was originally named as “Mi pais inventado; My invented country”. But it’s translated into Turkish as “Yüreğimdeki ülkem; My country in my heart”. I don’t know why, maybe we have to ask İnci Kut, the translater.
I think, I somehow know it’s why. As you talk about your Chileans’ arrogance in your book, I thought how my people live with the conspiracy theory that every single country in the world has an eye on our land and so every single country in the world is our enemy. Most of us also live with the desire that everybody in the world should be Turk in the future, or was Turk in the past.
Apologizing from İnci Kut, the translater, I thought that we could not call a book “My invented country”. A country should have been conquered, captured, seized, invaded but not invented.
How come did I end up with politics, although I intended to write to you as a shy-far-away-pen-friend? I am a woman living in Türkiye; in the middle of the Middle-east. I remember you once mentioned that in the Catholic belief (is it in the old times or is it still true?) a woman cannot get divorced from her husband and she should have her husband dead in order to be a widow. So I have to tell you about the men’s superiority to women in my country. I must admit that we can get divorced from our husbands nowadays but most of us live under a Turkish saying of “Sinek kadar kocam olsun, başımda olsun; It might have been as small as a fly, but it’s my husband whom rules me”.
Here in Türkiye, we also live in a 3rd world country as Chile. I cannot agree with you more with asking “Where the hell (sorry, I inserted this ‘hell’ word to the question) are the 2nd world countries? And who considers some countries are the first in the world? Why does Santa have a sleigh even though it can never snow in the Southern Hemisphere in Christmas? Why does women love to wear diamonds although they know that many people die in the mines in Africa? Ok, I’ll stop.
Once you said (as I remembered with my own words), “A smart woman should not marry a man for being cheered up, she should marry him for being looked after as a wife properly”. I said we are in the middle but some of us live as in the middle of nowhere: Some women are forced to get married as a child.
Some women are forced to get along with the second, third and even if the fourth wife of their husband.
Some women have to deal with pregnancy at childish ages, with new-borns although they aren’t real grown-ups.
Some women have to deal with honor killings.
Some women have to deal with politicians who say that “If you’re raped it’s your fault because you must have attracted that man with your behaviours”.
They have to deal with politicians who say that “You are going to give birth to at least three children” but who doesn’t say how to feed them with the minimum wage. Ok, I’ll stop.
Let’s talk about things that women consider more than anything (or the things men like their women to consider more than anything): Love, flowers, valentine’s day, birds, cats, dogs, smart phones-so women never have to be smart-, iPads, diamonds, best friends, coctail dresses, louis vuitton bags, chanel no:5, high-heeled stilettos, kitchen designs, famous recipe books, academy awards, celebrity news and so on. Let’s watch the new generation cartoons that show the girls are only waiting-for-a phone-call-from-boy-friend-thinking-about-her-hair-and-clothes-and-giggling-with-her-best-friend-on-skype-empty-headed-girl-friend-wife-mother kinda freaks! Let’s behave like one. Ok, I’ll stop.
No, I won’t. I won’t stop shouting. I won’t stop reading. I won’t stop writing.
So, do you. Don’t you?
Of course I’ll talk and write about the thing that women consider most: Of love. But I have to tell what has happened between the shadows…
Now the only thing I wish is to finish “My invented counrty” and to unwrap your last book in Turkish: “Maya’nın günlüğü”.
Hi Sarah… Now I see, the blog is prepared and the essays are written by you. I couldn’t help thinking of my greatest-latin-american-woman-writer since yesterday, the day I followed her on Twitter. But how can you get close to a person when you call her untouchable? What was I thinking?
Please don’t make me look like a fool. Say a shy hello from me and from the Turkish women who are unluckier than me… (Try your chances when she is not yelling at you in Spanish)