Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk is a lyrical description of one of the great cities of the world by a Nobel Prize winning writer. Like much of his writing, it is not easy to read Orhan Pamuk. If one is on the lookout for action, this is not the book to read. Istanbul is a very personal vision of the city. Descriptions of its buildings, its streets, of ships passing through the Bosphorus, its people, its writers, its history… intermingle with descriptions of Pamuk’s schooling, his first love, his parents’ conflicts and finally his decision to become a writer.
Pamuk writes in detail about the “huzun” or melancholy feeling of Istanbul. He describes how this feeling pervades the city and its people. He also tries to identify the root of the “huzun” of Istanbul – an impoverished city with the ruins of its past glory ever-present.
Camp Nominingue has its own history. Founded in 1925, it is one of the older summer camps in Quebec and in Canada. Owned by the Van Wagner family since its inception, the camp has adapted over the years to fit the changing needs of its campers, but remains unchanged in its essence – Nominingue is an outdoor camp where boys live in tents and are still encouraged to travel the northern lakes of Quebec on a canoe trip; campers learn outdoor skills that they will be able to practise for a lifetime; and the camp provides opportunities for boys to make choices and take decisions that help them develop their independence and their confidence.
A camp like Nominingue also has images and sounds that every camper who has ever walked its paths, swam its lake or paddled its canoe-trip routes will recognize: the white birch trees shading the tent-line; a loon cry over the lake as darkness settles over the camp; the poplar leaves blowing in the breeze; the gong being hammered at lunch-time; the silent procession through the woods towards council ring; the scream of a jumper flying off the rocks at Acapulco; the “Pony-Express” horde of campers and staff charging down the hill towards the Canadian-base in the athletic field; campers leaning over a fire blowing on the embers to get the bark or twigs to flame; the totem pole standing sentinel on honk-your-horn-hill; or the reciting of “Rise free from care before the dawn and seek adventure…”.
All that is needed is for Nominingue to find its Orhan Pamuk!