Apartment Life and Cahit Zarifoglu’s Short Story Titled “Eksik Yol” in the Context of Isolation and Estrangement of the Modern IndividualBüşra Sürgit
Cahit Zarifoglu is a prolific author who wrote in various genres of literature. Studies which focus on Zarifoglu’s story writing are generally content with evaulating his story book İns. However he has a few stories that are not included in this book. “Eksik Yol” is one of these stories that we encounter in his diaries entitled Yaşamak. The artist wrote this story after he experienced an interesting event while he was looking for a flat in Ankara. Throughout his life Zarifoglu observed the society in which he breathed with a special interest. Thus he managed to represent the difficulties he encountered in the modernization process impressively. “Eksik Yol” focuses on a young man living in a modern, ten-storey apartment building. As the modernization process accelerates in modern cities which remind us of doomsday, an individual who lives in a monstrous concrete mass, devoid of spirit and aesthetics, becomes increasingly isolated and estranged from his surroundings, and even to himself. Sincere relationships have changed into inadequate, formal and superficial touches. Additionally multistorey concrete buildings which encircle cities contribute to the process of alienation of the human being. In other words modernization and urbanization left ruinous effects on an individual’s soul. “Eksik “Yol” deserves to be examined closely because it is a text reflecting all these changes.
Modern Bireyin Yalnızlaşması ve Yabancılaşması Bağlamında Apartman Yaşamı ve Cahit Zarifoğlu’nun “Eksik Yol” Başlıklı ÖyküsüBüşra Sürgit
Cahit Zarifoğlu, edebiyatın pek çok türünde kalem oynatmış üretken bir yazardır. Zarifoğlu’nun öykücülüğünü odağa alan araştırmalarda genellikle onun İns isimli kitabı hakkında konuşmakla yetinilmektedir. Halbuki Zarifoğlu’nun bu kitabına alınmamış birkaç öyküsü daha bulunmaktadır. Yaşamak adlı günlüklerde karşımıza çıkan “Eksik Yol” bunlardan biridir. Sanatçı, Ankara’da kendisi ve ailesi için kiralık bir konut ararken ilgi çekici bir olay deneyimledikten sonra kaleme almıştır bu öyküsünü. Zarifoğlu, yaşamı boyunca içinde soluk alıp verdiği toplumu ilgiyle gözlemlemiştir. Bu nedenle modernleşme sürecinde yaşanan problemleri eserlerine etkileyici bir biçimde yansıtmayı başarmıştır. “Eksik Yol”, on katlı modern bir apartmanda yaşayan genç bir adamı odağa almaktadır. Modernleşme sürecinin hız kazanmasıyla birlikte mahşer kalabalığını hatırlatan modern kentlerde, ruhtan ve estetikten yoksun devasa beton yığınlarının içinde yaşayan insan giderek yalnızlaşmakta, hem çevresine hem de kendisine yabancılaşmaktadır. İçtenlikli ilişkiler yerini; sığ, resmi ve yüzeysel dokunuşlara bırakmıştır. Ötekine kuşku, korku ve endişe ile yaklaşmak yaygın bir hâl almıştır. Üstüne üstlük şehirleri kuşatan çok katlı betorname binalar, bireyin yalnızlaşma sürecine katkıda bulunmaktadır. Yani modernleşme ve kentleşme bireyin ruhunda tahripkâr etkiler bırakmıştır. “Eksik Yol” bütün bu değişimlerin yansıdığı bir metin olması hasebiyle yakından incelenmeyi hak etmektedir.
Cahit Zarifoglu is one of the leading authors of modern Turkish literature. He wrote in many genres of literature such as poetry, short story, diary, novel and fairy tale. When we talk about Zarifoglu’s storytelling, we are generally contemplating İns, his short story book. However, aside from İns, the author has a few other stories and the short story titled “Eksik Yol” is one of these. Throughout his life, Zarifoglu observed the society in which he breathed with a special interest. He was closely interested in the modernization process of Turkey. He was aware of the twinges and dilemmas of Turkish people. Due to these reasons he managed to represent the difficulties encountered in this modernization process impressively. In this respect, it is necessary to evaluate “Eksik Yol” considering this characteristic of the author. We can learn much more about the background of this literary text by reading the diaries of the author, called Yaşamak. According to this book, the artist experienced an interesting event while he was looking for a flat for his family in Ankara in 1977. Zarifoglu felt disappointed when he saw the very small flats which made up the sixteen storey apartment blocks. Meanwhile, he determined that in modern cities, apartmentization had devastated the deeply rooted TurkishIslamic traditions. According to him there is a parallelism between being left of traditional Turkish architecture and the fragmentation of the family. Small homes located in modern apartment buildings have caused the extended family to disappear and leave the individual alone. And so he ineluctably faces psychological problems. Modernity promises a free hand to people. The modern individual believes that he can live without needing others. He feels more self-sufficient and independent than ever before. Furthermore it is very difficult to observe sincere and well-intentioned relationships in the modern city which has lost its traditional pattern. People are egoistic and self-seeking. All these factors isolate the individual increasingly. Loneliness of the individual has become an inevitable fact. Moreover these are harmful for him and cause him to become estranged from his surroundings, even to himself. In addition to all of this, the multistorey, concrete buildings which encircle cities contribute to the process of the alienation of the human being. In this type of construction which resembles modern jails, every apartment flat represents a different world. Nobody knows anything about the other residents. The basic characteristics of traditional neighborhoods like solidarity and cooperation are rarely observed in apartment life. The author wrote this short story from this point of view. “Eksik Yol” focuses on the isolation and estrangement of the modern individual caused by the modernization and urbanization process. This text realistically represents the characteristics of the modern individual who is a product of this modernity. The character in “Eksik Yol” lives alone in a ten storey apartment. He is a twenty-five year old young man who is a very silent and introverted person. He has no close friends or relatives. Moreover, he has not yet met with his neighbours - although he has lived in the same apartment for many years. He consciously doesn’t want to spend time with others because he has paranoid doubts about everbody. Also, he believes that the people around him might hurt him at any moment. In other words, ‘the other’ is a source of fear for him that threatens his existence and so he cannot feel safe. These feelings of fear and concerns have taken over his life. For this reason, he becomes panicked when he encounters his neighbours. In contrast, experiencing great sorrow he realised that he is alone in the vast crowded. He feels like an isolated prisoner in this apartment and he hopes to change this irritating condition. He desires to be included in the lively and colorful life outside. As a consequence, he wishes that others will notice him and start a healthy relationship. He has many original opinions about life and wants to explain all these to other people. This attitude may seem like a contradiction at the first reading. However, the human being is an interactive and social creature more than a biological creature. At every stage of history, human beings have felt the need to “socialize” and the main character of this short story needs to as well. He wants to leave his dark and isolated world. In other words, modernization and urbanization leave terrible effects on an individual’s soul. The aim of this study is to present how “Eksik “Yol” reflects all these changes.