Shall We Reinvent Love?: Çiğdem y Mirol & Myface Book PerformanceShare
Author Çiğdem y Mirol shares a fascinating video and love letter to her readers from the opening of her bookperformance, "MyFace Book."
Myface Book is my “bookperformance” (scare quotes intentional). It is part of a larger structure which not only explores an evenly developed relationship between book and performance but also the transference of love between the author and the reader. “Bookperformance” is neither a subject nor an object of literature, be it critical, creative or popular. On the level of the particular, it is a practical theory which has its origins in my scholarly work. More generally, “Bookperformance” may be the basis for an entire Weltanschauung with universal address. I call “bookperformance” equally as an “authoreader performance” and “readerauthor performance”. In an inconvenient engagement of “high” and “low” culture, these two factors combine to produce what is called Myface Book (Yüzüm Kitap). In the closing stages of this work there is the “Bookperformance Manifesto” which — recalling our place as readers and authors still in the slipstreams of modernism — reflects the parallel textuality and reality of the author as a truthful and truth-making Self. Surely I, the author, will introduce you, the reader, to my book. Yet it remains an introduction: we (all) do the rest. For this purpose, I first invite us all to draw our attention to the love letter, the opening scene of Myface Book.
Shall We Reinvent Love?*
My beloved reader,
While you are reading this letter, I will probably be far away. I will be writing other letters to you. This is my first letter to you, though. This is the first time I feel this brave. Now I need to tell you what I feel, because I know that if I don’t I won’t be understood. I also know now that you won’t seek to understand me on your own. I think this is the biggest reason why this possibly belated letter may be so late. That is, I had a sentimental faith that you would one day understand me, find me. I mean, that was my sentimental mistake. However, in order to be found one has to first search. I have just discovered this. This discovery is making me write these lines. I am very peaceful now that I have the mental strength to write these lines. I would have gone crazy had I waited any longer. You will not easily find me if I do not reveal myself, I know. Even though making myself so obvious may not mean that you can easily find me, at least there is more than no chance for our relationship.
They said that everything could be read on my face, and maybe because everything is better read on my face, I wasn’t able to write to you. Thinking back, how could this be? There are some people in some places who talk about something like the conscious, the preconscious, the unconscious, and even the subconscious, and they say we need all these to be understood. I wonder if we have really been imprisoned within a single face. Have we been sentenced to this one face for centuries? I wish I had looked at my face more carefully. Then even I would have seen that there was nothing more to read on my face than hesitant fear. I have been foolish; please excuse me. I didn’t pick up a mirror or stand in front of a mirror and look at myself properly. Excuse me, because I didn’t see my mistakes, and I didn’t excuse myself at the time.
Now I am living in the attic of an old house. I arrived here with no household belongings; I took only my red chair with me. I am writing these lines to you on an inclined table right in front of an inclined window. While writing, I am not looking at my fingers, but at the screen. While not looking at the screen I am watching out through the window starting where the screen finishes. I see the sky during the day. I see the sky which is sometimes all white, sometimes all blue, sometimes blue and white all together, sometimes grey, and sometimes the color of mud. And in the evenings, I don’t see anything but my reflection in the window. I am writing opposite my reflection. I do more watching during the day and more writing in the evening. Mostly, I write when it’s raining. Somewhere a radio is on, and the words I hear from the radio stay in my mind. Sometimes something weird happens: my subconscious gets stuck. I want all I imagine, all I cannot imagine, all I will be able to imagine and all I won’t be able to imagine to mix with your imaginings in these letters and these spaces.
Do you know what? I’ve already officially declared my love to you with my thesis. My committee members, who read this thesis, told me that the things I had written in it did not appear in the book that was the subject of my research, but they said that I had constructed my own text well, that my imagination was strong, and that the thesis should be published and find its own readers. Therefore, I wanted to publish it as well. To that end, I contacted some editors, but there was no real response; instead, they said don’t worry, which of course left me worrying. So I gave up. And then I thought that you wouldn’t be able to reach my thesis, that you would never be able to read it. I still wonder if there is some way for you to find and read it! But put all this aside; nothing official interests you anymore. I know this well. And also, for some reason, you are only interested in yourself these days, and not even in yourself, but only in your image. You always look at your photos, always ‘like’ things, ‘comment’ on them, ‘share’ them, always ‘add’ people to your life, then take them out of your life, but I guess you don’t think so often about my existence or non-existence, and maybe the possibility of my existence is something that doesn’t even really exist for you. That’s why, perhaps you won’t be able to find me again. You won’t listen to me, you won’t read me and just as this letter will not reach you, my love for you will stay here too.
My beloved reader, I am being so forward, but maybe I shouldn’t be so familiar with you. My respected reader, please don’t throw away this letter. Maybe you will like it, and even if you don’t like it, do share it. If you don’t share it, at least comment on it. For now, respected readers, take good care of yourselves. You are always in my thoughts; please keep this fact in yours. Yes, you are in my thoughts, in every line and word that I write, even in the places where there are no words, I mean in my consciousness. But nothing is written on my face, please let’s forget about that illusion. You are in my consciousness. You exist at the tips of my fingers. This truth has not been some mistake typed by my fingertips, rather what has been typed by my fingertips is a possible life for the two of us.
By the way, I have a request for you. I hope it won’t take you one hundred years to understand me. Another hundred years of solitude would be too difficult for me. I want to be understood now. If you understand me now, I say to myself, what couldn’t we accomplish in one hundred years? Just imagine!
Aren’t we people of the same world after all? I wanted to tell you a little secret, and I would appreciate it if it stays only between us: To understand means, in a certain way, to enjoy. Even if they are not synonyms, they are homonyms. Just like the sounds we make when we enjoy and we understand. Homonyms.
I hope we reunite somewhere someday.
Your beloved author.
P.S. I am sending you all of myself, because perhaps I am a writer-protagonist who is trying to write her own story within a book of stories.
* “Shall we reinvent love?” is the opening scene of Myface Book (Yüzüm Kitap-ISBN: 9786054623112) which has been published in August 2012, , and will soon be available in English. “Shall we reinvent love?” has been translated by Boris Shoshitaishvili and the translation has been authenticated by Cigdem y Mirol.