Courage to be yourself! Emek Yurdakul’s article…

Courage to be yourself!  Emek Yurdakul’s article…


Marsik ve Ben, as you might guess, is not a romance book. You have to write this first. However, reading the intricacies of first love, experiencing the first encounter with those feelings while being discovered from a naive place, without even saying “love”, and entering those waters again to see what “love” really was…

In fact, beyond the “first love” in the book, Joey’s view of the world contains romance: “My faithful helper, Troubled Betty, is always nearby; his nose is on the ground, his tail is in the air, he is showing heroism.”

Unfortunately, there are still those who say: My dog’s name is Betty in Trouble. Its tail is always in the air. Heroic gems. In fact, I recently read an author who said he was sure we were curious about his character’s type. Moreover, the depiction of the girl with the okka nose…

If I close most of it here and go back to the book that even some of the cliches in the plot do not stop reading…

Even though the title of the book is Marsik and it tells his story, our main character, Joey M. Green, is a boy you can find with his guitar in his lap in his old house in the countryside when he’s not scouting or chasing intruders.

“An ordinary boy with an ordinary family: a sister named Opal, mom and dad, a beautiful coiled cat named Oscar, two largely ignored guinea pigs and Betty the House’s beloved dog.”

In the book, straight information from Joey’s mouth is just that. You actually sense from the beginning that the author will not make the reader see his own imagination by giving someone else’s personality.

After all, my desire to look at the book and follow Joey came in the first sentence: “I’m climbing my hill. I say ‘my top’ but it’s actually nobody’s top. It’s not even a real hill. That’s exactly why I love him…”

And he tells about the formation of his top, the feelings it aroused in him, his courage to be himself, the perspective he changed.


Joey’s world, where he cannot be himself because he cannot be at peace with his existence, collides with the world of Marsik, who is reluctant to be himself despite those who make fun of his name as Serbian and other factors.

Marsik approves of him so much that Joey’s strongholds, which he cannot approve of, are collapsing: “Our friendship with Digby is like a familiar room… Whereas Marsik is like a door to a place I’ve never been to.”

Isn’t love basically a state of coexistence that creates the space for us to be ourselves and gives us that courage and freedom? So Joey has reeds, rivers, pebbles, but Marsik is another and Joey says, “When he laughs, it feels like rain in the desert.”

Let’s make a note next to Marsik and Ben, just in case we want to learn about what and how Joey transformed and to capture the source of our inner restlessness: “Alfred Adler”.

Marsik and Me / Martine Murray / Translated by Tuğçe Özdeniz / Can Çocuk / 160 p. / 10+ / 2022.

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