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While Navigating the Doomsday Waters ...
CİVAN CANOVA / playwright
"What is the plot of your game?"
A bombardment of questions that I am very afraid of facing these days, but that I am constantly confronted with and I do not know what to say in return:
"What are you talking about?"
"You wrote a play? .. So?"
"Don't you briefly explain?"
I cannot put two sentences together and give a meaningful answer. More precisely, I cannot find two voluntary sentences that can fully explain my play.
I was about sixteen years old. We were reading Julius Caesar in the English Literature class. There was a question like this on the exam:
"In this play, state the thoughts that Shakespeare wants to express in short sentences."
My answer, which took me two years, was as follows:
“If Shakespeare had such a problem, he would have written poems on caramel papers instead of a five-act play. If he came too long, he would produce syllables. "
First of all, "Finger Child" tales came into our lives, "So what is it?" When we reached Ömer Seyfettin, they turned us into masters of ANAFICIR EXTRACTION. This habit turned into an obsession in the later stages of our education years. We have been perceiving and evaluating Descartes, Racine Collection, and even Ottoman History in two-sentence summaries.
For example, “1. He tells about the life of the Russian people who fought Napoleon, and therefore the negative (for the sake of writing) the effects of the war on people (for a more literary), sir. " A fictitious description from the likes could easily give the impression that we were licking and swallowing "War and Peace".
"one. Napoleon ”instead of“ 1. When we wrote “before and after World War II” and changed the end of the sentence from “telling sir” to “telling in an epic way, sir”, it was understood that we spent the February holiday recalling “And The Stagnant Flowing Don”. It's that simple.
If huge works could fit into four or five words, what was the need to write thousands of pages after consuming a lifetime ?! Spawn a word, and enjoy the blessings of the world as much as you can in the rest of the time! Is not it?!
Of course, I was trying to convince myself that all written texts contain certain basic thoughts or ideas, or are their starting points. But as a mischievous enthusiast caught in the spell of the theater from the age of five, it was even more different when it came to Julius Caesar. As a result, answering the exam question in stereotypes seemed like the greatest disrespect for an entire world of Shakespeare. It was ridiculous. Beyond nonsense, it seemed impossible.
Of course, I could not blame the teacher for the result. At that age, they all knew that my mind was in the air. (They would take pride if they hear that it has come down to a distance now.) On top of that, it must be because of my activities that I call "social activity" and the school administrators "mischief", I have not been very familiar with the subject of the lesson, with contrary, intelligent answers in my own way, it is empty, such as passing questions and crossing the eyes. I had a hope. Undoubtedly, they were also aware of this. Inevitably, this answer I gave was evaluated within the framework of my general habit.
I remember sitting down all night and memorizing Antonius' speech in English, out of anger and annoyance of not being able to explain my problem. Because we stayed on that lecture for at least seven or eight weeks. Our teacher had spoken for days to explain that episode. Then he kept it and asked us to fit the whole play into a few sentences. Was that what was going to happen?
The next day, I read the section I memorized in class in Antonius style and said:
"Here are the thoughts that Shakespeare wanted to express in a small part of the play, not in the whole."
Childhood is here.
I don't know why, I remember this memory very often these days.
*** *** ***
Late summer 1994 ...
I am about to finish my game, which is just called "The Apocalypse Game" or "Quintet in the Waters of the Judgment." We will return to Istanbul in four days. If I work in Istanbul for a week, I will be writing the last page, roughly in the middle of September.
It's five in the morning. I'm on the terrace. At my macho feet, lying on the floor. I have gamers next to me. Aunt, Mother, Woman, Man, Father. Every now and then he comes and goes. So the doorman in the game.
They have been with me for exactly two months, twenty-four hours a day. I don't know why, I didn't name them. Except for the doorman, the others have no names. I don't know, I saw it unnecessary to call them with certain names. I call them whatever the most prominent roles in the world are. Aunt, Mother, Father ...
From where he lies, Macho looks at me from time to time, opening his eyes. Then he sighs with a gentle grunt and falls back into sleep.
"Even the dog is bored with my writing." I think.
The assistant girl in the house heard that I was writing a play, she was constantly making fun of me. "Write, let's SHOW!" He says, when he brings coffee during the day, "Let's see where it will end!"
Honestly, I am also very curious. Let's see where will it end?
I press the keys of the typewriter in fear. The sound of every button I press comes back echoing. Those in the house are sleeping. Wish is in bed right now. In the room of Pınar, soundly ... They will start the day soon as I go to bed. It has been like this for weeks.
I feel angry about them all. Even macho. Instead of spending the day together and going to the sea, I take my typewriter, my papers, my play persons, I get stuck here. That is not enough, either, all night. What is it, we came on vacation. This is our first long summer vacation. But they, the gamers, they don't know how to go! I don't want them to leave anyway. Because I know they will go away for good after ten days.
Ten days later?
Ten days later, this play, as I have written, will be taken to its eternal rest in a remote corner of my library, before it can reach a literary life.
Ten days later, the moment I press the text "The End of the Second Act", who knows, my conversations, discussions, jokes and resentments that lasted all summer with these imaginary people I have been inspired by and trying to gather in one body will come to an end. This is the truth. If our relationship gets even longer, I may need to take my pajamas with them and go to a mental hospital. Or worse, they can come back to me in the game that I will write next.
It is half past five in the morning.
Maybe my play will be staged one day. Come on, you too! Why not? But when he comes one day, I will probably be alienated from my own writing. I would even be so alienated that let's say they gave me a role, A VERY AMAZING ACTOR! as I can make a mess. "Did they deem me worthy of this ass-broken role in this trashy show, they are ruthless!" saying.
How shameful it would be for them. Game to my contacts. Who knows how they break. However, now I know them all, from their hair to their nails, from their smiles to their tone of voice. I chose every word that came out of their mouth by thinking for days. Which one is good to talk, which one usually uses inverted sentences, how are their reactions, are there any words they use a lot or like to use? .. Even the moment I go to bed and close my eyes, I remember these. Would I want to push one of them with the back of my hand after years?
On the other hand, no matter how much I enjoy acting, I cannot mold anyone in the world of my own actors! I tried to create them together. It has been a day and I listened to them. I tried to be like them. I cried while listening to them. I laughed. But they all existed together. How do I distinguish one from the others?
Also, let's just one day such and such a director puts this play on stage. But he wants to interpret them differently than I think. Do you enjoy it or want it. Isn't the director, he comments as he wishes. Well, wouldn't such a situation cause the usual director - actor controversy in rehearsals to break through and pretend to be an unpleasant writer actor - director? Who compromises first? Me? .. Or the director? ..
Anyway, whether it's rotten in the library or staged, the right thing is to forget the play after ten days. Rehearsals of the "Green Parrot" will begin at the end of September. If you love Allah, will there be time to deal with "doomsday" and think about my role there! ..
Still it will be difficult to leave. I loved them. In a dream I saw, they shared a correct destiny, as if they were actually living. They were neither inside nor outside the truth. They existed as much as they needed. I did not question them. I do not want to question. They questioned themselves, each other, the world they fell into. It was his duty to tell me only what they talked about, not to judge. They tried not to give principal messages. They would simplify, they would be ridiculous then. Since we were tied up with a tie beyond the umbilical cord, they would ridicule me as well.
If there is already a received - not a given - message, it should not go out of the mouth. It must be within the created world. It is a unique and integrated world with its fiction, people, events, venues, costumes, lights, roles, and even effects. It is a whole.
Where did I think of Julius Caesar now?
Anyways. What was I saying? The created world is a whole. It must be he who best describes him. If a play can't express itself better than its author and commentators, it's the ones who have to talk all the time. However, what did Nietzche say, "You shut up so that your work will speak." After the curtain closed, "But I didn't mean it that way." Could there be a chance to say? The audience thought they were thinking.
The air is getting brighter. Venus began to glow with all its charm. Where is Jupiter? I, Macho and my game people are on the terrace. Does Venus know where the terrace is?
My play persons. It took weeks for me to meet them, not to clarify them in my mind. Over time, I became able to read what was in their minds.
It was early summer. A comet was heading towards Jupiter at full speed. The moment I heard this news, I had a chain of questions like this:
"What if the target of the comet were not Jupiter but the third planet?"
"I wonder if there is another meteorite whose target is us?"
"Even if it's far away now, I wonder one day ..."
Then I paused for a moment and answered all these stupid questions myself again. With another question.
"Do you need this?"
Apocalypse. So nothingness. Extinction. Zeroing of the human race, all human labor, thought and emotion. To be buried in darkness that will never exist again.
What about what we have been tired of over the years for ourselves and each other? People who are our target? Those who approach us at full speed? Explosions?
"What is your game about?" If they ask, will they understand if I say Julius Caesar one day? These are just bits of thought.
Then they came. They sat in the corner of my typewriter. I haven't written for a long time. We met, talked about it, met again. People thought I was lounging on the terrace all night. Then I started writing. Then...
Wouldn't I have written if I hadn't heard the news about Jupiter? Maybe .. Maybe I wouldn't write this game. There were also moments where I thought: "I wish these destruction had never happened and I hadn't written a play like this." One war correspondent said, "I wish there were no wars, I would sell lemons." would he say In such a world, war reporters would gladly work as peace correspondents. For their lives.
What about the creators?
Would his hands be empty if it were not for the violin?
Was Niccolo Paganini brooding?
Was Pir Sultan going to collect pears in Sıvas?
Or if Beethoven was deaf,
Won't he hear the music?
It is half past seven in the morning.
I know, I am not any of these. There is no such thing that I put myself in the playwrights category by playing with the keys of the typewriter, with an uncertain fate, a sketchy game. That would be funny anyway. It is like dreaming of opening an exhibition with a single, unfinished painting. Still, it's nice to produce something. Even if it's my own caliber.
And to dream ..
The day I had the opportunity to deliver my first play to its new creators, directors and actors and all art workers
And to the real owners, the audience.
If they like it and accept it.
*** *** ***
"What is your game about?"
“No, ever. I just wrote it. "
TOBAV ART FEBRUARY - MARCH 1996