The Works of Orhan Pamuk

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by kennahenson
Last updated 6 years ago

Language Arts
World Literature

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The Works of Orhan Pamuk

The Works of Orhan Pamuk

"After writing The White Castle, I realized that this jealousy—the anxiety about being influenced by someone else—resembles Turkey’s position when it looks west. You know, aspiring to become Westernized and then being accused of not being authentic enough. Trying to grab the spirit of Europe and then feeling guilty about the imitative drive. The ups and downs of this mood are reminiscent of the relationship between competitive brothers."

The White Castle is a novel centered around the friendship (and friction) between an Ottoman scholar and an imprisoned Venetian engineer and takes place in early 17th century Istanbul.

"In Turkey, both conservatives—or political Islamists—and secularists were upset. Not to the point of banning the book or hurting me... The secularists were upset because I wrote that the cost of being a secular radical in Turkey is that you forget that you also have to be a democrat. The political Islamists were upset because I wrote about an Islamist who had enjoyed sex before marriage."

My Name Is Red is set in Istanbul during the late 1500s, the novel revolves around the murder of one of the miniaturists, who has been commissioned to help paint a manuscript detailing the reign of the Sultan. The main character, Black is hired to help find the murderer and finish the manuscript.

The Black Book's plot revolves around the protagonist, Galip, a turkish lawyer, and his wife Ruya. The novel takes on a format like that of a mystery novel when Ruya suddenly disappears along with her brother, Jelal. The story follows Galip on his search for his wife.

Short Summary


"So I set all these rewritten stories in Istanbul, added a detective plot, and out came The Black Book. But at its source was the full strength of American culture and my desire to be a serious experimental writer. I could not write a social commentary about Turkey’s problems—I was intimidated by them. So I had to try something else."


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