The Great Loss of Turkish Literature

Mario Levi, the great author who had contributed many important works to Turkish literature, passed away. The famous author was bid farewell on his last journey on Thursday, February 1st, with a ceremony held along with his loved ones at the Acibadem Jewish Cemetery.
The Great Loss of Turkish Literature
Mario Levi

The sad news of his loss was announced by the Buart Art Workshop with the statement, "We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear teacher, the emotional and powerful writer of our literature, the unique human being, our one and only Mario Levi."

A lover of Istanbul Mario Levi, who had been a writer at Şalom in the 1980s, and won numerous awards with his stories and novels, was 66 years old. Levi besides being a writer himself, had opened the doors of literature to many young writers through the workshops he had conducted.

Born in Istanbul in 1957, after graduating from the Istanbul Saint Michel French High School, the author studied at Istanbul University Department of French and Roman Philology.

Levi who started writing for the Şalom Newspaper in 1984, when the newspaper had started to be published entirely in Turkish, also wrote for many newspapers and magazines such as Cumhuriyet, Gösteri, Milliyet Sanat, and Oksijen Newspaper.

Mario Levi who published his first novel 'Jacques Brel: Bir Yalnız Adam (Jacques Brel: A Lonely Man)' in 1986, presented his storybook 'Bir Şehre Gidememek (Not Being Able to Go to a City)' to readers in 1990. In his second novel 'Madam Floridis Dönmeyebilir (Madame Floridis may not Return)' published in 1991, he wrote about the minority population of Istanbul and those who had difficulty in adjusting to the society.

Levi, who wrote many books including 'En Güzel Aşk Hikayemiz (Our Best Love Story)', 'Lunapark Kapandı (Amusement Park Closed)', 'Size Pandispanya Yaptım (I Made Sponge Cake for You)', during an interview, had talked about his love for the Turkish language saying, "I could have written in French. If I had, it would have been much easier for me in terms of being an author of the world. I did not prefer this. I chose the hard way maybe, but it evolved in its own nature. Because your language is the language you played ball on the streets as a kid, the language you lived your first love in your youth, the language you feel like cursing when you are really angry; and that was Turkish. That is why I always tell myself, that my deepest homeland is Turkish."

Mario Levi had started a new project in 2019. In his project, there was an Istanbul novel series consisting of seven volumes. In these series, the works are not continued from the previous one; each of them is independent in itself. Each novel takes place in a specific district of Istanbul on a specific day of the week. The author was able to publish four books in this series:

Bir Cuma Rüzgarı/Kadiköy (A Friday Wind/Kadiköy) (2019)

Bu Salı ve Her Salı/Şişli (This Tuesday and Every Tuesday/Şişli) (2020)

O Pazartesi/Eminönü (That Monday/Eminönü) (2021)

Pazarın Yalnızları/Beyoğlu (The Loners of Sunday/Beyoğlu) (2022)

"One who doesn't have a dream, neither has a story"

Author Mario Levi, when he was a guest at Ulus Jewish High School a few years ago, in his speech had said, "The real creativity is based on dreams and only those who venture great risks and defeats, achieve real success." Levi telling the students "One who doesn't have a dream, neither has a story", had expressed that a person should dream, believe in what he/she is doing, and work with patience and discipline while moving on this path to achieve the dream.

Related News