The Smell of Fried Bonito, Engin Geçtan
Metis Fiction
13 x 19.5 cm, 248 pp
ISBN No. 975-342-302-0

1st Print: February 2001
2nd Print: May 2001
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) (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) 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
Kırmızı Kitap (The Red Book), 1993 (The Red Book), 1993
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
Hayat (Life), 2002
Tren (Train), 2004 (Train), 2004
Seyyar (Wanderer), 2005
Engin Geçtan
The Smell of Fried Bonito

Kızarmış Palamutun Kokusu

Rights sold / published by:
Arabic: Dar Kreidieh

"The desire to live more than one life..."
A beautiful novel about Istanbul, the city of innumerable cultural and historical layers. After many years in New York, the main character is enticed by the nostalgic smell of fried bonito to return to his native Istanbul, only to find that he never really knew this city, the city which is not "one". His phantasmagoric journey through the different ages and cultures of the megalopolis is at once a quest after culture and a journey of self-knowledge. With its vivid descriptions of the ages and people that Istanbul has accommodated, the novel can also be read as a literary exploration of what it is to be foreign and what "nativeness" involves.
Arzu Mildan, Radikal Kitap Eki, 20 April 2001
"Reading this book is like trying to find your way in the labyrinths that extend between the past and the current day ... Along with the protagonist who tries to overcome his worldlessness with a custom made world, you re-question the decisions you’ve made and the role they play in your life. Once again, in each era..."
...It is almost evening. After Roksan left, we retired to our rooms. I laid on my bed and a chain of thoughts occupied my mind. Whatever has happened in the past I was always the same person. I had never surprised anyone, nor myself, and imagined that the straw which was presented to me in return was tasty, never realizing that I was satisfying my hunger with nothing but a vacuum. My life was dull like most things that are centered around security, my powers of imagination were strictly censored. I am indebted to that orange haired creature I encountered last night –was it a man or a woman?–, and to my fate which led me to those desolate dark streets. The unbearable feeling of emptiness and painful loneliness that came over me after the orange haired creature brought me to a climax was an extraordinary experience, quite different from my previous sensations of loneliness which now seem so ordinary. The more I face my nothingness the more I feel that I exist. I don’t know why I had to wander about murky quarters of the city to be able to reach the magma of my soul, but somehow a mysterious force pulled me there the very first night I arrived here. It is still a puzzle why I was attracted to the dark lure of Sevensins but I no longer try to find answers to such questions. I do not know the meaning of the silver coin which hangs down my neck but I know I want it to touch my skin. I seem to be on my way now and I can no longer remain suspended between life and death, even if my curse will send me to an absolute annihilation...

Longer sample manuscript available in English 

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