Nâzým As Painter
   Piraye's Portraits
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   Nâzým Reading











    Nâzým did not read every book cover to cover. He first allowed himself a phase in which he'd in a way familiarise himself with the book. He would browse and skim through it, and if he didn't like it, he'd put it aside.

    My mother used to say that he'd read fragments from the beginning, middle and end, and if he liked them, he's read the book through. And she used to express puzzlement: "How can one read a book whose end he knows!"

    But that was how Nâzým read. If he liked a book, he would read it as if it were entirely new to him. Parts, he particularly liked, he'd read to my mother, too. If she did not share his enthusiasm, there'd be a discussion. Where intellectual content was more at stake, my mother rarely opposed Nâzým, comporting herself rather as a pupil would toward a teacher. But when taste was at stake, and especially in matters of feeling, the discussion would inevitably result in the praise of my mother's sensibility and insight.

    Nâzým would extoll her as "My dear wife, no one can grasp and judge this poem, this novel as you do."

    This didn't make sense to me. It would strike me as him flattering his wife. For example, I would find it incredible that my mother could evaluate a novel they read better than Nâzým.

    Still, I'd be filled in doubt, because no such episode was an isolated episode. It happened again and again.

    When I began to write poems and short stories, he pressured me into showing everything I wrote to my mother.

    Nâzým used also to write poems inspired by letters my mother wrote about her reading. His "Don Kiţot" poem is among these.

    Nâzým's hand never rested as he red. He would ceaselessly draw in pencil on and inside bookcovers, on the blank pages. This was likely a way of reflection. At least that is how I perceived it. He'd lose himself in thought as he sketched.