The Red Book, Engin Geçtan
Metis Fiction
13 x 19.5 cm, 208 pp
ISBN No. 975-342-235-0

1st Print: October 1993
3rd Print: April 2003
Engin Geçtan
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About the Author
Engin Geçtan is a practicing psychotherapist. He taught psychology at several universities in Ankara and Istanbul. Between the years 1975-1987, he wrote four psychiatry books that have a significant following outside professional readership: İnsan Olmak (Being Human), Varoluş ve Psikiyatri (Existence and Psychiatry), Normaldışı Davranışlar (Abnormal Behavior), Psikanaliz ve Sonrası (Psychoanalysis and After). Later Geçtan began working on novels and scenarios. His novels are Kırmızı Kitap (The Red Book); Dersaadet’te Dans (Dance in Dersaadet); Bir Günlük Yerim Kaldı İster misiniz? (I Have Space for One Day Only, Taking?); Kızarmış Palamutun Kokusu (The Smell of Fried Bonito) (The Smell of Fried Bonito) and Tren (The Train) (The Train). Drawing on his forty years of experience in psychiatry, he published Kimbilir? (Who Knows?) and Hayat (Life), books on psychiatry and contemporary life on the verge of chaos. His latest book Seyyar (Wanderer) is a thematic cross-edition of several different people’s interviews and conversations with Engin Geçtan.
Other Books from Metis
Psikodinamik Psikiyatri ve Normaldışı Davranışlar (Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Abnormal Behaviour), 1975
İnsan Olmak (Being Human), 1983
Psikanaliz ve Sonrası (Psychoanalysis and After), 1988
Varoluş ve Psikiyatri (Existence and Psychiatry) 1990
Dersaadet'te Dans (Dance in Dersaadet), 1996
Bir Günlük Yerim Kaldı İster misiniz? (I Have Space for One Day Only, Taking?), 1997
Kimbilir? (Who Knows?), 1998
Kızarmış Palamutun Kokusu (Smell of Fried Bonito), 2001 (Smell of Fried Bonito), 2001
Hayat (Life), 2002
Tren (Train), 2004 (Train), 2004
Seyyar (Wanderer), 2005
Engin Geçtan
The Red Book

Kırmızı Kitap

A captivating mystery revolving around an urban film shoot with a crew of colorful characters. After the abduction of one of the actresses, real life begins to acquire a dangerous and inexplicable resemblance to the film’s script, and yet, the screenwriter is nowhere to be found… With its meta-narrational moments and intriguing images such as a book that changes every time it is read, a tunnel that leads to other worlds, or a morning when the sun does not rise, this is at once a thoughtful and entertaining novel.
A. Ömer Türkeş, Aksu Bora, Matbuat
"For readers who like to decipher symbols and who enjoy riddles, there are many different games in this novel. A fast paced mystery novel that does not miss a beat, The Red Book is beautifully narrated and successfully composed to tie every little event back into the main story. But The Red Book is also more than a simple mystery, it is a social critique. It is not difficult to discern the finer underlying themes such as the solitude of the individual, coincidences, the split between reality and appearances… And the mysterious book that changes every time it is read functions as an important metaphor for enlightenment."
A hot summer day!
       Two customers are seated on a sidewalk cafe at the tables which are situated in an oblique position and quite far from each other. Tables are square shaped and covered with white clothes. A tall, thin waiter with white shirtsleeves appears from time to time. People of different races with variety of outfits, all of them in white, pass on the sidewalk.
       Te is twenty eight years old. A rather handsome young man with a boyish face and puffy eyes. He is also wearing white shirtsleeves and persistently watching Ra who is occupying the other table. Ra is a plump woman around forty five years of age. The round décolleté of her white dress is decorated with multicolored fine embroi-dery. Her lips are given a heart shape with a heavy lipstick of bright red color. Her black hair is falling behind her ears onto her shoulders. She is sipping a colorless drink from a large glass with a tranquil expression on her face.
       Shortly thereafter, Ra pays her bill and is prepared to leave. Te wears his sunglasses to mask his blunt curiosity and continues to watch her. He notices the book she is carrying in her hand. A book with a red hardcover with one face missing. Then his eyes focus on the ostentatious bracelet she is wearing on her left wrist. Obviously very valuable. Ra leaves her seat and starts her departure by walking among the tables with a vague smile on her face. Te suddenly jumps off his seat and hurriedly approaches the woman. He appears excited.
       "I am certain that I know you from somewhere!"
       Ra greets him by bowing her head slightly without saying a word. Then with a graceful gesture she expresses the wish for her way to be cleared.
       Te continues to look at her as she walks away. Then he goes back to his seat and returns to the newspaper that he was reading before noticing Ra. As he throws a look at the front page his face becomes tense and jumps off his seat once more running towards the direction of Ra's departure. He stops and looks around as he reaches the street but sees no trace of her. After searching around with his eyes once more he returns to his seat. He looks puzzled as he glances at the front page of his paper again: "The body of an unidentified woman was discovered on one of the narrow streets of Old Town." Underneath a photograph of Ra with a mask-like face and the same embroidered white dress she was wearing a while ago stained with blood. The news is on the paper where Te is working as journalist and in the morning edition of the same day.
       A corridor in the morgue. Te, Ser and an officer are talking as they walk. Ser, a fellow journalist at the same office with Te begins to explain.
       "I arrived there shortly after the police. She had died only a couple of hours earlier. Around five o'clock in the afternoon."
       "In the middle of a street and in broad daylight?"
       "Well you know the houses on those streets are behind high walls. There are no shops or things like that. Who would be walking on a street like that on such a hot day?"
       Te stops suddenly, the others too.
       "Who has found her?"
       "A group of environmentalists who were surveying the old structures in Old Town. If you hadn't taken yesterday off you'd be the one to go there."
       "I was obliged to go to the airport to meet someone."
       They begin to walk again and after turning into another corridor they finally come in front of a large door. As the officer opens the door, a corpse laying on a table partially enters into vision. It is covered with a white sheet.

Te, Ser and two officers are around the corpse. The white sheet has been pulled exposing the face. Te is silent with a fixed gaze upon the corpse. Ser looks at him inquiringly.
       "Is that her? You told me that the woman in the photograph resembled someone you know."
       Te first hesitates, then shakes his head.

Longer sample manuscript available in English 

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