Ipek is Ka’s hopeful prospect for the future. She is Ka’s dream for a future life in Frankfurt where he can write poetry and make love to a beautiful woman. He even admits that he arrived in Kars, not to only pursue the story of the suicide girls for the Republican but to seek Ipek’s hand in marriage whom he knows is living in Kar’s Snow Palace hotel which her father runs. Ipek is Ka’s wish for happiness, a wish he is ashamed to admit because he secretly thinks he does not deserve happiness. He does not know Ipek but remembers her from childhood; all he remembers – to his slight chagrin – is that she is beautiful and recently single. He lumps onto her all his hope for a future, as if the clearing of the streets of snow and the end to tribal warfare will be over with the consummation of a kiss. Ipek blushes at Ka’s advances and even lets him kiss her but she refuses to let him make love to her while her father is in the same building. Ipek knows Ka wants her because she is beautiful; and she is not angry with this but at the same time she diverts his comments about a future life with a smile and a remonstration to stay on the present task.
Blue is a strange mirror image of Ka. Ka is a good guy who writes beautiful poetry, a little conflicted and lives with a guilty conscience but for the most part would not seriously malign another human being; Blue is a suave guy, young and articulate but sinister – at least to me – in his reasoning. He is sensitive like Ka, but missing moral aptitude and a true sense of “what’s going on”. Blue is the fundamentalist side of Ka. I guess the Sheik falls into this category, but the Sheik represents Ka’s own theological doubt and uncertainty about the existence of God; Blue is Ka’s literal approach to the world to erase the poetic, natural beauty of Ka’s lyrics. Blue tells Ka not to report back to the West what he writes about the suicide girls. Blue wants to silence the Ka within him.
So far I can only articulate well enough Necip, Ipek, the Sheik and Blue as projections of Ka but I imagine all the people Ka meet are versions of him. Kars is like a winter wonderland, a mazy kind of place and a fragile dream; violence happens; things do not look good for the next half of the novel once the snow stops and forces will be able to move around freely. It should be interesting to see what kind of Ka emerges from this place – or if he ever gets out. It makes me sad to see that Necip will die, but maybe this is part of Ka’s journey – the death of childhood. I don’t know. At the end of this article, I don’t think I like my thesis anymore, but it helped me to do a close reading of the text.
1. Kazuo Ishiguro [videorecording] / the Lannan Foundation; directed by Dan Griggs. Los Angeles, CA : The Foundation, c1996. Lannan literary series ; no. 49