ÖYLE MİYMİŞ?’ (‘HAD IT BEEN SO?’) IS A NOVEL THAT BEGINS AND ENDS IN CONSCIOUSNESS IN ITS ENTIRETY. IT CANNOT BE TOLD THAT IT LEANS ON A METAPHOR SUCH AS MUSIC OR WAVES.
We have only the stream of consciousness technique at hand to explain the last novel written by Şule Gürbüz Öyle miymiş? (2018, İletişim Publications). It is the subject of another argument whether she had written a novel or a poem. Şule Gürbüz had utilized both arts abundantly that is for sure. Though, we wouldn’t be mistaken, if we tell that Öyle miymiş? is an essay book, which can be appraised within existential philosophy. Therefore, it is hard to find aspects that are unique to a single form of literature. It is possible to encounter transitions between all forms in Öyle miymiş? Maybe, the book is taking all its power from here. By demanding to stay away from human appraisal of any kind; by refusing to be evaluated within certain cliches; by not keeping itself open to any type of reduction.
The stream of consciousness technique is used successfully in parts of Ulysses, The Waves or Tehlikeli Oyunlar (Dangerous Games). Öyle miymiş? resembles a little bit of The Waves among them, but still far from it, because Virginia Woolf leans on music and poetry in The Waves. She navigates away from consciousness at so many points. She uses the wave metaphor in regards of sound and rhythm that emerge as a result of her mood swings. Öyle miymiş? is a novel that begins and ends in consciousness in its entirety. It cannot be told that it leans on a metaphor such as music or waves. It is build on a fundamental issue: Had it been that? The author doesn’t pursuit this question. Her thoughts, rather the none-stop work of her mind causes her to encounter the same issue over and over again. Finding the answer to this question is not important as it is also impossible. The matter is when the mind is traveling which stations it passes; which events it encounters; and the senses it makes out of them about the God, human, life, world, and the prophets.
James Joyce and Oğuz Atay uses the stream of consciousness to include the consciousness of the heroin in the events. Gürbüz wants to include the events in the consciousness because nothing can escape from her consciousness. She desires to locate and to make sense out of everything and reveal their connection with other things. More precisely, the consciousness we encounter in Öyle miymiş? works that way. It is completely the consciousness of the heroin. A heroin without a name that is. It can be anyone or no one. It can be even a heroin with no one to address at all. The voice we listen to in Öyle miymiş? does not have a mass to address. It does not talk to itself. No traces of heart-to-heart talk or self-talk are encountered in it. Gürbüz tries to present a consciousness as it is in Öyle miymiş? The readers watch, listen to, and hear her, they try to interpret her in many ways or include their consciousness in hers. There is not another possible way to connect with her.
The stream of consciousness technique is usually comprehended as the revealing of unconscious. It is interpreted as the access to the zones, which cannot be accessed through regular thinking, the divulging of everything in the subconscious mind through connotations. Gürbüz does not use the stream of consciousness technique in this way and with this purpose. She doesn’t leave subconsciousness uncontrolled. This is why, disorders, sudden disconnections, tough transitions from one subject to another, which can be seen in consciousness, in other words, in the flow of mind, in her novel. Öyle miymiş? is a novel of a true quest, assembled masterfully without losing its seriousness to the end.
The Library of the Author
Atatürk, İlber Ortaylı, Kronik Books
Göç Zamanı, Bahaeddin Özkişi, Ötüken Neşriyat
Dünya Bir Gelindir, Mehmet Sabri Genç, Şule Publications
Üstelik Sarışın, Cengizhan Genç, Dergâh Publications