(Leyla Erbil ve Tezer Özlü)
Born 1943 in Kütahya, she was married three times, meant a restless life, traveled much, was hospitalized for some years, had one daughter, died in Zürich (like Joyce) of breast cancer…. In the age of ten she came to İstanbul where she attended St.George’s Austrian High School (Avusturya Kız Lisesi), but soon after she left the country for Europe, where she hitchhiked and came around. In Paris she met her first husband, I think in İstanbul her second, in Berlin her third, Swiss artist Hans Peter Marti. Besides writing herself she translated for example Kafka or Pavese into Turkish.
I am just reading her book “Yaşamın ucuna Yolculuk” (“Auf den Spuren eines Selbstmords”), slowly slowly, just one page a day. She wrote it in German and got a book-price in Marburg for it. She translated it herself into Turkish. Travelling from Berlin to Prag, Triest, Torino and finally S. Stefano Balbo (where we can localize Cesare Pavese), she reflects her life and her feelings while being on the traces of her heroes Kafka, Italo Svevo and Pavese.
Tezer Özlü counts for sure together f.e with Leyla Erbil (she was befriended with her), Aysel Özakin, Tomris Uyar et Nazlı Eray, to the important Turkish female writers.
And earlier I wrote (just found it as a harddisc-archeologue):
When we saw that wild arum today I remembered our lecture-group. Why? We talked about the Turkish writer Tezer Özlü, which was translating too, mainly the works of Italo Svevo, Cesare Pavese and Franz Kafka. Italo Svevo is an artist name, he was born in Trieste, then Austrian Empire, in 1861, the year, Italy was born as an united nation as Aaron Ettore Schmitz (Now: wild arums German Name is Aaron’s rod). Italo’s parents were German Jews, that’s why he went to school in Würzburg and talked fluent German (Italo Svevo means “Italian Swabian). He was personally tutored by James Joyce in Trieste, and without Joyce and later Özlü Svevo’s books would be widely unknown.
Tezer once traveled within two weeks from Berlin via Prague, Vienna, Zagreb, Trieste, Torino (the capital of later Italian king Vittorio Emmanuele) to Santo Stefano Belbo – where Cesare Pavese was born. During this voyage she hardly found any sleep. In fact that pilgrimage-like journey touched the birthplaces of her heroes: Prague = Kafka, Trieste = Italo Svevo, Santo Stefano Belbo (in between of Torino and Genova) = Cesare Pavese. She wrote about all this – in German. Wouldn’t she have translated her own book into Turkish it would be lost.