“The song of the doves” in Pythagoras

Sema Kiliçkaya was there for a dedication this Saturday, November 19 with this beautiful work published in 2008 and reissued by In Octavo editions; the follow-up novel, “The Rootless Kingdom”, which received the Seligman Prize in 2015, will also be reissued because it is now out of print…

In “Le chant des tourterelles”, the story begins in Syria, in Aleppo, in 1943, when the beautiful green-eyed Djémilé loses her husband and leaves on foot with her five children for her nearby native region: Antakya. Ancient Antioch is that smiling and colorful country where doves sing and where mosques, synagogues and churches stand side by side. But, since 1938, the region has belonged to Turkey and life there has become difficult for the Arabic-speaking Alawite minorities to which the Gül family belongs precisely…

A very beautiful book, written like a tale, limpid and poetic at the same time, and which tells us so many things about the history of Turkey, the ways of life in the middle of the 20e century, the difficulties encountered by minorities, the eruption of the world of machines which triggered the rural exodus and favored exile to distant countries where it will be necessary to recreate one’s roots… a fine tribute also to ancestral knowledge, to all a world of healers, seers, oracles, proverbs, who spread a wisdom that the modern world no longer receives.

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