Every Child Grows Up, Except For One

by Said Dağlı
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On a character of Alper Canıgüz’s novels, Alper Kamu, Said Dağlı has written his emotions and thoughts.


Sorrow of him who makes us laugh, Alper Canıgüz once said, is found more sincere cause we know he is not playing for sympathy. We shed tears for a sour story with a tragic setup and depressing music, basically because of the melancholic atmosphere. Those tears are the fruits of our pity and the thing that is shared is not sorrow but gloom. The story or the way that the story is told gives us an instruction to cry and we follow it without questioning. However, undramatized feelings of funny and vibrant characters are truly able to touch us. We empathize instead of pitying. For more than once, I ended up crying while watching or reading a comedy story.

A child’s cheer, challenge against the life and effort to enjoy the circumstances are generally hilarious and pleasing. He makes us smile. He believes he can conquer the world with a toy gun. He makes friends who aren’t seen by others. He can think a battery-powered toy car as an automobile. He astounds us with his unlimited imagination. But deep inside, there are sadness and disappointments which awaits to be shared as well. He is Alper Kamu who was named after his creator Alper Canıgüz (and Albert Camus).

Alper Canıgüz, creator of Alper Kamu
Alper Canıgüz

He is only five years old and an unpaid part-time detective. He helps deputy inspector Onur Çalışkan and unveils the mysteries behind the murder cases. He reads philosophy books and has some very original ideas about them. We also witness the inner struggles of him beside a classic detective story. Although he seems very extraordinary, author brings us down to the realities by showing the inside world of him. We know that he doesn’t want us to pity him and never ever tries dramatizing himself. That’s why, we share Alper Kamu’s confusions, sorrows, regrets, struggles, challenges and most importantly, his love.

When this five-year-old detective asks her father whether love is real or not, I find myself asking the same question. When he says it is too late for happy stories, I unintentionally stopped my smile. When he warns us by saying that a man who loses his shadow becomes the shadow itself, I took a glance at my own shadow. When he tells the story of Clove Girl who calls the oxen carrying the world with its horns to account for the death of her father in an earthquake…

This affinity that we sense towards the stories of Alper Kamu actually gives us important hints about our personalities and reminds us the words of the author we mentioned at the beginning. The pains of people who make us smile hurt us more than usual. They seem more sincere, modest, unadorned and real. We care more about their questions and confusions. They prevent us to sleep tight. Even their fantastic stories sound more real than the Earth itself.

Let’s conclude with Alper Kamu’s words: “All loves turn into cool ashes, all fathers die, all stories end. One must keep watch on ruins. Thus, every child grows up, except for one.”

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