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A Dreamed Cty in Western Literature: Edmonde de Amicis’Istanbul
At the time when Italian voyager Edmondo de Amicis first came to Istanbul in 1874, a reconstruction and a modernization process was experienced not only in Istanbul but also in the other world cities, foremost in Paris. Since the reconstruction process of Istanbul was only observed in Galata/Pera region, Istanbul was still most like an eastern city than a western city. When De Amicis first saw Istanbul which was all under the fog and therefore the details could not be seen clearly, he first admired Istanbul; however as soon as the fog dispersed he was surprised. The reason why he was surprised and felt frustrated that this dense fog was also a dreamed and heterogenous city image which was formed by the writers and the painters who described Istanbul before De Amicis. De Amicis in his traveler book begins to open out the layers of dreamed Istanbul which was built by western eye and he describes and tells about the real face of Istanbul with its rich diversity and dimension. But when he was doing that, he could not stop himself by using the stereotyped frames, since Istanbul he witnessed and Istanbul’s dreamed existence he connected with his heart was like all together and was not separated from each other. However different from other voyagers, De Amicis tried to destroy the oryantalist frame from which he cannot also save himself. However in 1990’s, after about hundred years, when Umberto Eco was writing about Istanbul where he has long years postponed to come just like De Amicis, he used photographs, gravures, stories and old maps as well as Amicis’ travel book as a guide for himself and when he was looking at Istanbul with De Amicis’ eyes, he shows us one more time that a city consists of dreamed and real layers which can never be erased and separated.

Traveler book, city, Istanbul, West-East, orientalism

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