Behiç Ak 8.11.2019 Artfulliving Online Magazine Interview by Eren Başağan
“Children Need to be Free!”
Breaking away from nature, war, violence, limits of freedom… They don’t sound like suitable topics for a children’s book. But with masterly fiction of beloved author Behiç Ak, they all find their places in a book named Notes of a Buck-Toothed Observer (Tavşan Dişli Bir Gözlemcinin Notları). Moreover in such a light and comfortable manner that only a bluest sky could make us feel. This book clearly shows us that children’s books can go beyond the ordinary. We talked with Behiç Ak about Notes of a Buck-Toothed Observer (Tavşan Dişli Bir Gözlemcinin Notları)
Notes of a Buck-Toothed Observer (Tavşan Dişli Bir Gözlemcinin Notları) emerged as a novel that addresses many of the problems we are facing today, such as breaking away from nature, war and focuses on the anxieties of people, especially children, with themselves, such as fear of failure, not having a place in society. In this regard, among all your books, it seemed to me as the one standing most close to philosophy. What do you think about it?
I think, my practice of writing for children improves the more I write for them. As my dialogue with children also improves in the meantime, this leads to an enrichment in my theme selections. Authors limit themselves while thinking if it’s okay to go a little bit further or to handle different subjects. But when I get in touch with children, I see that they actually want to discuss and talk about very different topics. So I realized over time that many topics can get into the story. For example, violence, war and hunting issues. Children want to talk about these matters. Sometimes, especially in small villages, I observe that people give rifles as a gift to children approaching their adolescence. That boy can pick it up and go to shoot birds. This kind of behavioural patterns encourage other children as well. Especially young boys have a strong tendency to shoot birds. It is important to establish a relationship with children about violence with the help of the fiction and discuss it. I wrote many of the events taking place in my novel basing on real stories. This book had been a very interesting experience for me. The story developed itself and lots of things found their places spontaneously in the story. I didn’t design too much. I let the story develop on its own.