Constantinople in Crisis
A Long Day's Evening Bilge Karasu
Translation Aron Aji
A Long Day’s Evening revolves around the relationship between two eighth-century monks. Through these main characters, Karasu explores the nature of duality.
One of Turkey’s most interesting modern writers
When Leo III, Emperor of Byzantium, outlaws all religious paintings and icons, Constantinople is thrown into crisis. A palace official overseeing the destruction of an image of Christ is murdered by a band of irate women, and an atmosphere of danger grips the city’s monasteries, strongholds of icon veneration. Watching for cues from the other monks and afraid of the consequences of being too forthright himself, Andronikos is deeply confused about his own beliefs. One night he decides to escape, leaving behind his beloved Ioakim, who must confront his own crisis of faith and choose where to place his allegiance. Against a backdrop of religious and political upheaval, the two experience their love as the absence each becomes for the other.
In language that builds to an operatic intensity, the dualities of dogma and faith, custom and law, truth and lies, East and West, society and the individual, Rome and Byzantium, are embodied in a story of prohibited love and proscribed devotion.