Being In Somebody Else’s Dream

MURAT GÜLSOY JUST PUBLISHED A NEW BOOK OF SHORT STORIES, ‘DOES GOD SEE ME?’ WE TALKED BRIEFLY WITH HIM ABOUT THE BOOK.

In what way do the stories in your new book form a whole?
This book crystallized when I found the illustration for the cover. Previously, the stories were scattered all over the place, some on the internet, some in books. I had not been able to clarify in my mind how I was going to turn them into a book. When I saw that picture, I said to myself, “This is it!”

How did the picture inspire you?
The picture on the cover conforms to the known rules of perspective. On the other hand the figure in the scene is stepping outside the frame, which is of course is an impossibility. The idea of a figure in a painting going outside the frame is very modern. At the same time there is something about it that reminds you it’s a picture

What does that picture correspond to in you?
Shuttling back and forth between realizing and not realizing that one’s characters are fictional is a notion that lies at the core of my writing. That’s what I have concentrated on. And this book actually brings together the texts that best focus on that idea.

The things that happen to the three people for whom the book is named are described in sentences that are almost exactly the same, word for word. Why is that?
I tried to describe the basic human condition in that story. The reason I used the exact same words stems from the fact that I am pointing to the common human condition that is shared by different people.

There is also a “graphic story” in the book. Why did you want to do such a “joint” project? What sort of experience was it?
I love going from one art form to another. Sercan Şengün made the drawings for my book. I saw how my story was reflected in Sercan’s eyes.

What was it like to take a Kafka story as your point of departure?
Kafka wrote about a specific dream that he had. And in my writing based on that I try to include myself in somebody else’s dream, and to think about myself in the process.

WHO IS MURAT GÜLSOY?
Trained in psychology and engineering, Murat Gülsoy is currently an instructor at Boğaziçi University. A member of the group that brought out the magazine, “Hayalet Gemi” (Phantom Ship) between 1999 and 2002, Gülsoy is a recipient of the Sait Faik Short Story Award and the Yunus Nadi Novel Award. Gülsoy has published a total of twelve books: six collections of short stories, four novels and two books of essays.

Published by writers like Murat Gülsoy, Mehmet Açar and Ayfer Tunç, Hayalet Gemi (The Phantom Ship) is a magazine that left its mark on the period, 1992-2002, when it appeared. All back issues can be found on the internet at
www.hayaletgemi.com.