Folyosó Autumn 2023

Accept the Reality or Distract Yourself, Escape It?

Viktória Wilujeng Botka

“She lives in a world of her own – a world of – little glass ornaments…” – Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

Tennessee Williams’ play The Glass Menagerie, first performed in 1944, has an interesting storyline, featuring the narrator as one of the main characters (Tom Wingfield), who has a mentally disturbed mother (Amanda Wingfield) and a timid and confidence-lacking older sister (Laura Wingfield). The Wingfields aren’t a rich family; Tom works to support his family in a shoe warehouse, which he doesn’t enjoy, because his real dream is to be a poet. He goes to the movies almost every night, so frequently that his mother becomes suspicious of him doing illegal things. The movies back then were cheap, as it was after World War 1 and during the Great Depression. As people had lost loved ones in the war and jobs at home, they went to the movies often to distract themselves. Tom went to distract himself, just as other people did.

TOM: I’m going to the movies!
AMANDA: I don’t believe that lie!
[Tom crouches toward her, overtowering her tiny figure. She backs away, gasping.]
TOM: I’m going to opium dens! Yes, opium dens, dens of vice and criminals’ hangouts, Mother. I’ve joined the Hogan Gang, I’m a hired assassin, I carry a tommy gun in a violin case! I run a string of cat houses in the Valley! They call me Killer, Killer Wingfield, I’m leading a double-life, a simple, honest warehouse worker by day, by night a dynamic czar of the underworld, Mother.
— Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

Tom doesn’t like his mother very much (although at some level he loves her). Amanda grew up in Blue Mountain, Mississippi. Like Tom, she has her own way of distracting herself. She lives in the past, reliving her memories of when she was young, when gentlemen callers used to come to visit her. Her husband was—as Amanda says repeatedly—a charming man, who visited Amanda frequently in her youth, married her, and eventually abandoned her, which resulted in the Wingfields’ poverty.  Amanda always imagines that one day her daughter will marry a rich man, because it would help get rid of their financial problems. She keeps on retelling her story of the gentleman callers and their father, hoping that Laura will have the same experience, which is a bit too optimistic, as Laura is very shy and isolates herself from the outside world.

When she was still in high school, Laura  had an illness called pleurosis, which caused her to limp. This is one of the reasons why she is very insecure and spends most of her time alone or at home. In fact, she is so timid that she drops out of business school. She had a crush on Jim O’Connor when she was in high school. Jim had a nickname for Laura, “Blue Roses.” He called her that because he misheard Laura saying pleurosis when he asked why she had been absent. Laura has her own world of imagination. She has animal-shaped glass figures, which she spends most of her time cleaning and watching. The unicorn glass figure, which was the one that represented her, stands out with its horn among the horses, like Laura with her limp.  She also plays the Victrola obsessively, which is another way for her to distract herself, apart from watching her glass figures.

The different people are not like other people, but being different is nothing to be ashamed of. Because other people are not such wonderful people. They’re one hundred times one thousand. You’re one times one! They walk all over the earth. You just stay here.
— Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

Jim O’Connor is a young man who works at the same warehouse as Tom. He is invited for dinner by Tom one day, at the request of Amanda, who hopes that he and Laura will be a perfect match and get married. It doesn’t work out in the end, because Jim iss already engaged to another girl, Betty. He is the most “normal” character in this play; he gives Laura some advice and helps her gain some confidence.

I think that we need to accept reality; sometimes it’s hard to do so, but trying to lie to yourself is just as bad as lying to others. If you can’t accept things that have happened, you will need to live your life inside your head, convincing yourself that your version of the story is the right one, and people will start thinking that you’ve lost your mind, which can actually become true if you continue lying to yourself.

The Power of The Word – The Weakness of Will

Szymon Kochański


The Abstract Obstacle

Nilüfer Doğanca

At last, the hospital appeared through the clouds of the city. His heart was already beating too fast, and suddenly it stopped for a moment. The enormous, rectangular building was standing before his eyes, with people who are oblivious to everything inside.

He barely made eye contact with his “brothers”, the other soldiers. They were all fascinated with what they had just seen. The expression of happiness and satisfaction on their faces was real, beyond real, they were the expression, they became the expression.

He struggled to understand his feelings. The emotion that he had to feel and that he actually felt at that moment were different. First, he felt guilty about that difference. Then, he questioned himself for the reason of his guilt. In the deep of his heart, he knew that this guilt was unnecessary. However, he couldn’t admit it to himself. Then, there was a piece of pride. After all, he was the one who was chosen as the pilot of the helicopter despite his young age, seventeen. There were hundreds of soldiers in the military who would do anything to have that honor. Besides, he carried out a successful flight, which meant that after completing this mission, he was going to be generously rewarded.

By this time, he was almost above the hospital. Suddenly, he saw a little shape running through the hospital gate. It was a little girl, apparently less than ten years old. Afterwards, she left the hospital with a man. The man was seriously injured. He didn’t have his left arm and was barely walking because of his crippled leg. Nonetheless, they were both smiling and hugging each other in the garden of the hospital. At that moment, he remembered his own family, particularly his seven-year-old little sister. Then he realized, October 17th, it was her birthday. He asked himself how many birthdays he had missed. He hadn’t seen his family for five years. The face of his sister appeared in his mind, smiling. Then he pictured his mother. She wasn’t smiling at all, she was just staring at him, with no emotion. He tried to bring back to his memory the reason for leaving his family and joining the army. He couldn’t.

He heard a voice calling into this sense of the unknown. It was one of his “brothers”. It was time. His eyes fell on the little girl again. She was entering the hospital. He wanted to scream at her, to stop her. He couldn’t. His hand moved to the lever without his will. The air was filled with excitement. The face of his mother appeared in his mind once again. Then, it transformed into the face of his commander. With a strong, tough temperament, he was ordering him to lift the lever. The commander’s face disappeared, and this time the little girl appeared in its place. Unlike the other people he saw in his mind, she was smiling, just like his sister. Then he heard his “brothers” shouting at him again. He saw his sister, then the commander, then his mother, then the little girl, then his mother, then his sister, then the little girl, then the commander — he lifted the lever.

He saw the little girl still smiling at him, and the shouts of his “brothers” cleared his mind, destroyed the little girl’s face. He looked at the hospital: fire. A hell as loud as thunder. A concussion as strong as an earthquake. Did he do that? By only moving a simple lever? His eyes began to burn, not because of the fire above the ground but because of the flames in his mind. He had followed orders. These orders were his own hell in his mind.

What My Father Taught Me

Nil İrigül

When you’re just an infant there has always been one question all your family friends and elders have asked. Are you your father’s or mother’s little girl? I’ve always been my father’s daughter. He’s the one who taught me everything. Thanks to him, I’ve become who I am today. He has always been my role model when it comes to life choices, I have always aspired to be just like him. His views on religion, humanity, politics, economy and freedom continually amaze me. He always puts his mind and logic before his heart and feelings. However, there has always been an exception. Me. He treats me as if I am the only person who matters in the whole wide world, which for my mother wasn’t the right way of parenting. She always said that I lived my life in a bubble and that reality wasn’t close to what I thought it was. Well, she was right, but I’m glad my father decided to raise me this way. Even though I spent my whole childhood in a bubble, it was the best childhood a girl like me could ever dream of.

As I grew up, my father started having more mature and complex conversations with me. He is very keen on science, and I used to believe he knew everything. No matter what I asked, he always had an answer: for example, with regard to learning English. I remember never wanting to study any kind of language when I was in primary school, but my father helped change my view of learning a new language. Thanks to him, I got keen on language learning and decided to study at a French high school. He had an interesting view of teaching me. Whenever I needed to study, we would go on long drives without a destination and listen to songs in English. He would stop the song from time to time and ask me what the song was about and what the lyrics meant. As I grew up, this technique went from teaching me a language to helping me learn life lessons. He would make me listen to songs with deep meanings, and we would talk about what the songwriter meant to say.

There is one song that stuck with me. It’s “Redemption Song” by Bob Marley. We were returning to our hometown from our summer house, and this song came up on the radio. My father suggested that I listen to this song and try to understand the meaning behind it. When we first listened to it, it meant nothing to me. I was very much astonished when I listened to it a second time and later heard my father’s thoughts on the song. At that time I didn’t yet know about the government in Turkey, but we were facing some challenges. Our rights were being taken away. Especially the ones of little girls just like me. Women homicides were growing more common by the day, and at first my father tried to gatekeep this information from me. He enlisted me in private schools, volleyball, and piano lessons and did his best to help me get the best education possible while also helping me evolve culturally. I didn’t think much of it at that time, but now I understand that knowledge is power, and the more I know, the freer I get, just as in the song. So he was rescuing me by having me pursue my studies.

The song by Bob Marley had a few lines that kept bugging me. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery / None but ourselves can free our minds” For me this line was a plot point. After researching the song I found out that these lines were derived from a speech that Marcus Garvey gave about Black Nationalism. Later when I listened to this speech, I heard him say, “The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the man who uses his mind.” This is a mindset I live by. I try to stay as awake as possible and have as unique ideas as possible because I don’t want to be ruled. I want to keep my rights and I’m fighting for them, not by physical power but by learning and developing and working on myself. Because in my opinion freedom starts in the brain.

Even though the song as a whole had an impact on me, there is one last line that I would like to recall. “Have no fear for atomic energy / cause none of them can stop the time” These lines seemed to be very important for my father, because he talked about them a lot. He talked about how the life I’ve been given is very precious and that I need to use my time efficiently. If there was something stressing me, he told me to remember this line. Stress won’t stop time and time is the most important thing I can have. He told me that I should always do things that interest me and give me joy. Because the odds of me being born were even slim. He talked about the butterfly effect and how, for example, the smallest thing my great-grandfather’s great-grandmother did could be the very reason I exist, so I need to be grateful. He also says to not fear death because in his worldview, if you have had an impact on the world then you never really die. He says that the time you live isn’t calculated with the time you spend on Earth but with the time you spend making differences, and this could continue even when you die.

My whole childhood, my father has been a doctor, a philosopher, a scientist, a teacher, a coach, a cook, a songwriter, an author just for me. But most important of all, he has been a good father.

The Ballad of the Moon

Fatma Irmak Tuncel

a sudden pain
white and bright
the dark was stolen from her
and nobody had ever asked.

The cold started from her spine and spread. It went through her hands and went through her neck.
Pain was softened but the white and the bright was infinite. They were united.
She stood up slowly. The cold passed through her feet but her shaking legs weren’t able to feel anything.
Anything but the ground.

The rest was passing through her breath.
Each second, her chest was uncontrollably swallowing the infinite matter surrounding her and releasing it with the desperate truth of not being able to absorb the infinity.
It was repeating itself, as if nothing was happening… As if her lungs weren’t suffering…as if she was willing it herself…

She didn’t know that it was her lungs breathing the air, her legs helping her to stand, her eyes telling her that infinity was a pure white.
Five minutes before, she was nothing
but five minutes later she was there with “the everything”.

She was there with the unknown sorrow of the loss of her “nothingness”.
She was there with the forced existence.
“J’ai la nausée” said Sartre
but la nausée wasn’t enough to define her brightness.

It was then that the others arrived. Maybe she wouldn’t feel that much fright when she saw them, if she had a mirror given to her.
But she didn’t have a mirror and she didn’t feel safe.
She wondered if they had the same “pain”, if they were longing for something that they weren’t able to name.

She stood there wondering
why the pain wouldn’t stop,
with the brightness for which she didn’t vote.
The dark was stolen with her loneliness,
it was stolen from her nothingness.

The director of this film was missing.
and I still can’t recall its name.
The film had run out of tickets
when no one had ever bought them…
and she was the actress as well as the spectator.
But nobody had ever asked her
if she had been willing to be both.

No one asked the moon
if she wanted to be seen at night ;
maybe she was peaceful in her darkness,
maybe she wouldn’t prefer to reflect the sun.

And no one had ever asked us,
if we were willing to be alive,
how difficult it should be for a baby
to adapt to a life where it was forced to come.
I am in the endless “white and bright” ;
some claim to hear the voice of a god,
some claim to remember the other shades before the white.
Yet, I am here
just like her
without knowing the reason for this life
and without having enough time to find out.
The only thing that I managed to figure out
is that free will never ever existed, all from the start.

White remains infinite,
pain remains inevitable,
god remains silent…
and the only sound breaking this bright silence
remains as the ballad of the moon, ceaselessly being sung.

* “J’ai la nausée” : expression for “I feel nauseous” in French, used as a reference to Jean Paul Sartre’s book Nausea.

Not Hating Them, Just Thriving by Them

Ceren Selimata

We live by making mistakes. İt is crucial for improvement and success in life. But sometimes I ask myself: is it really necessary to go through the pain and bear the consequences? The answer is so simple, yes.

It was one of the most important days of my life, the high school entrance exam. The score that I got on this exam could have affected my choice of high school, university, and even my profession. While I was taking the exam, I was constantly thinking about the possibilities and the consequences of the mistakes that I was making unconsciously. I made a lot of mistakes that I wouldn’t normally do; I was astonished. How could I have done such a thing? It is the question that preoccupies everyone as they try to find an answer. Maybe there shouldn’t be an answer. We shouldn’t even be searching for one. The guilt and the shame that the answer brings, consumes us as time passes.

I was constantly wondering where I would be at that moment if I hadn’t made any of those mistakes. I still got into a high school that was good enough, but not great. Isn’t “great” the thing that everybody wants? I found out that it isn’t the most important factor in later success, because there will always be opportunities that we will face and have to make important decisions about.

In my first year as a preparatory student, I couldn’t see the good parts of the conclusions of my mistakes. As time passed, I realized that it wasn’t about failure, it was about learning from your mistakes to become an experienced person and try better the next time. Yes, the period of accepting this was almost unbearable and long, but it’s not forever. There will always be opportunities throughout our lives, and we should take advantage of them to learn new things and improve ourselves, rather than turning them down for fear of making mistakes. Taking up opportunities doesn’t necessarily make you an optimistic person; in my opinion it is just reality that we should face. We are not defined by our mistakes, but we thrive by them. When we’re in a very important situation, we’re terrified of what could happen to us if we make a big mistake, but we can’t find it out without trying.

I am now preparing my portfolio and CV for the universities in France; my high school gave me lots of opportunities and an education that I had never expected. There is no way to anticipate life’s experiences; you should just live and accept yourself for making mistakes.

My choice wasn’t the best, but in this case it’s the best choice that I could’ve made without feeling angry at myself and ashamed. It is essential to go through these phases in life. At least that is what most successful people do, such as Walt Disney; his former newspaper editor told him that his ideas weren’t good enough, but he kept generating new ideas. “I think it’s important to have a good hard failure when you’re young… Because it makes you kind of aware of what can happen to you. Because of it I’ve never had any fear in my whole life when we’ve been near collapse and all of that. I’ve never been afraid,” said Walt Disney, speaking from his experiences. So we shouldn’t be scared or ashamed of our mistakes; embracing and growing from them is the best thing that we can do for ourselves.

My Diary

Luca Türk

Entry One – 22 Sept 2016

I’m still working on project 1-18-20-13-9-19. A.R.T.E.M.I.S.

A.R.T.E.M.I.S. is a project of mine. It can use echolocation like bats. The two prototypes work incredibly. I just have to finish them.

Entry Two part 1 – 7 Nov 2018

Project 1-18-20-13-9-19 is done. They started breeding. I don’t know whether it’s good or not. Maybe not. They have six legs, four to run with and two smaller ones. They can camouflage and have excellent hearing, sharp claws and teeth but no eyes. I already regret making them armored.

Entry Two part 2 – 7 Nov 2018

A.R.T.E.M.I.S. is a military weapon. Even nuclear bombs can’t kill them. This was a mistake.

Entry Three – 1 July 2019

My project is a success! They listen to commands wonderfully. Maybe I did make a creature God could not.

Entry Four – 21 Sept 2023

They tasted human flesh. I got reports that the killed and ate even our soldiers. I have to find a way to kill them.

Entry Five – 18 Oct 2024

The world has gone into hiding. They killed every single being they heard. I’m still working on a way to kill project A.R.T.E.M.I.S.

Entry Six


They’re in here now. I need help!

To anyone who reads this……R U N!!!!! They are still here!

Everybody Makes Mistakes

Ivett Csenge Csehi

Dear little, flawless me!

Here and now, at the age of 16, I realized my biggest mistake. What is it? — you must ask curiously and inquiringly what took so long. My biggest mistake was that I always wanted to grow up to be you. I always dreamed of being big, being an adult, being able to do things like adults. It was a mistake! Growing up is terrible, and one of the biggest trials is the period between childhood and adulthood. You are still young and flawless. I wish I could be you. You are looking at my letter in a confused way now, but you still don’t understand what I mean by this. If I could start my life over, if I could be you again, I would enjoy every single minute of carefreeness and flawlessness. Think! If I were you, I would want to be the same age I am now. Now, at this age, I want to be older, more, because I think it will be better. We don’t enjoy the life situation we are in, even though once years ago we wished we could be at this age. We are in a hurry. We don’t enjoy the happy moments that life gives us. Listen to me, I’m telling you the truth. So I am turning to you with a request. Never want to grow up, never want to be more, and most importantly, DON’T WANT TO RUSH. The biggest mistake a person can make is being in a hurry. Stay flawless!

With love: your perfect imperfection, the great “Big” Me!

A Fatal Error

Dániel Darabos

As Draken made his way across the ruined streets of the once shining streets of Budapest, he was wondering about life and where it all went wrong for humanity. About 20-30 years ago, in the year 2020, humanity was still very much in control of their surroundings, including climate, technology, bacteria and viruses. That is, until an experimental virus from the labs of the United States escaped, which turned humans into mindless madmen. As Draken was approaching his destination, an abandoned gas station, he saw some half-infected roaming around. Now, in this world, it is a known fact that the half-infected are very dangerous, possessing all the abilities of those infected by the mentioned disease, but still retaining some intelligence. Draken considered whether it was worth the risk to get the supplies there. His final decision led him towards the gas station. He sneakily made his way around to the back of the gas station, looking to loot it. It seemed there weren’t many half-infected around, which upped his chances of success. He went inside the gas station without the creatures noticing him and started grabbing anything he could get his hands on. He mainly got food and drinks. As he was exiting the building, he suddenly lost his balance with the heavy backpack on him and fell through the door, the contents of his backpack spilling everywhere. This instantly alerted the half-infected, and Draken started to run. Unfortunately for him, the half-infected were much faster, especially because it was getting late. One grabbed him by his collar and tossed him back in the direction of the station, as another one smacked him in the face, knocking him out. Then they pretty much beat him to a pulp, leaving him to die, without any medical support, by the morning.

Mistakes — Good or Bad

Áron Kaposvári

It is accepted that humans are made not to be perfect. Thus each of us can make mistakes, and their importance can vary.

Making a mistake means that we have never encountered such a problem in our life and had no way of knowing that we should have paid more attention to the details. Some of us feel so guilty that we think the only way mistakes can be avoided is never doing anything, which can also mean that we shouldn’t even exist. That is why all of us are encouraged to take our faults into consideration. Thus we can find out what the flaw is, and later we will not make the same mistake.

For instance when we lie to our closest friends, we don’t feel good about it, but when they find out the truth, they are hurt and we see that we have broken their trust. In cases like this, it is natural to blame someone else, but the best way to learn from our mistakes is to take responsibility for our actions.

What we learn from our mistakes can turn into  the best lessons of our lives. Therefore, it is necessary and normal to make mistakes in life, but we will also regret them. Learning how to deal with failure is one of the most important skills we can develop. Regret is natural, but we also have to address the situation and prevent it from recurring.

If we learn from our mistakes correctly, they will move us forward. However, if we make the same mistake, it shows we aren’t making progress.

1 2 3 5