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My Name Is Red (Everyman's Library…
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My Name Is Red (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics) (original 1998; edition 2010)

by Orhan Pamuk, Orhan Pamuk (Introduction), Erdag M. Goknar (Translator)

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5,069127887 (3.75)1 / 336
Member:gossypia
Title:My Name Is Red (Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics)
Authors:Orhan Pamuk
Other authors:Orhan Pamuk (Introduction), Erdag M. Goknar (Translator)
Info:Everyman's Library (2010), Edition: Reprint, Hardcover, 536 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Turklit

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My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (1998)

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English (105)  French (7)  Italian (4)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Finnish (1)  Indonesian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
My Name is Red -Orhan Pamuk
4 stars

First, a definition:

met·a·fic·tion ˈmetəˌfikSHən/
noun
noun: metafiction; plural noun: metafictions; noun: meta-fiction; plural noun: meta-fictions
fiction in which the author self-consciously alludes to the artificiality or literariness of a work by parodying or departing from novelistic conventions (especially naturalism) and traditional narrative techniques.


And with that definition in mind ……..

META- meta-fiction; Pamuk’s characters not only depart from novelistic conventions, they also use this departure to self-consciously analyze the nature and philosophy of illustrative art. Pamuk even plays with the basic concept of a character. Each chapter is told from the first person perspective of a single character and although there are several voices who carry the main burden of the plot, we also hear from illustrations of a dog, a tree, a gold coin, and a horse among other unusual perspectives.

In the first chapter, “I am a Corpse”, we learn of a murder, from the victim, who also supplies the motive for his own assassination. “My death conceals an appalling conspiracy against our religion, our traditions, and the way we see the world.” This man was a miniaturist, one of an elite group of artists who were engaged in a secret project for a 16th century Sultan. Their task was to introduce Western portraiture techniques into traditional Islamic illustration. Before the identity of the murderer can be revealed through a close examination of the completed illustrations, another murder and a love affair complicate the plot.

I enjoyed the complex structure of this book. The prose was stunning and the philosophical issues gave me a lot to chew on. I definitely felt that I’d entered the world of these 16th century Turkish artists The devil is in the detail, detail, detail. Pamuk pores it on, layer upon layer of artistic skill, traditional esthetics, personal ambition, religious suppression and egotistical competition. It’s a world of lies, flattery, concealment, manipulation,and threat; I didn’t find one completely trustworthy character in the entire book. There’s satire that’s particularly bitter in this story, but there’s very little humor.

I’ve been wanting to read this book since I read Birds Without Wings. Most of the publisher’s blurbs compared the de Bernieres book to My Name Is Red.It seems obvious that Bernieres was influenced by Pamuk. That influence goes right to the heart of the artistic dilemma that Pamuk’s miniaturists seem to be struggling with. If all art is imitation, where is the creative expression of the artist? Bernieres may have made use of Pamuk’s format, but his book is far from rote imitation. I liked both of these books, but my heart is given to Birds Without Wings. I don’t mind stretching my brain around the meta-fictional philosophy, but I also want a few likable characters and a little bit of humor to go with it.

( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Fascinating story of 1500's Istanbul. Highly recommend! ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
I'd read good reviews of this critically-acclaimed book, so I decided to pick it up.
It's sort-of a murder mystery set in 16th-century Turkey, by a Turkish author.
I say sort-of, because although the plot definitely features a murdered artist, and his group of colleagues, one of whom killed him - which one, we do not find out till the very end - the book as a whole is more concerned with the differences between Western and Eastern traditional art, which in turn reflects on the differences between cultures - and with the culture of Turkish Islam, in general. And - I found it to be a bit surprising - I also found it to be subtly but viciously critical of that culture.
This was an extremely well-crafted book, and very worth reading - but, I have to admit, it was a bit slow going!" ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
(37) Oh dear. This really was quite tedious for me. I wanted to like it. I love a literary mystery and I loved the structure of the novel. What a concept - multiple narrators including the unnamed murderer narrating with a concealed identity as well as with his true identity. This should make for wonderful suspense and a lot of trying to solve the mystery on the part of the reader. But the novel was just so dreadfully boring that it could not be saved by its clever structure, no matter how unique.

The time is the late 1500's in the Ottoman Empire and the Sultan's royal artists are making a book for him. Scandal surrounds this book and then one of the artists is murdered. He narrates his own death which is kind of cool and starts the book off on a decent note. I thought I would really love it. But, there is SO MUCH content about Persian kings of old, and legendary master artists, and I guess Islamic or Persian folklore - I don't know quite what it was but it was painful. Not even the timeline in the back could help me or get me interested in the historical events that were recounted so pedantically and so repetitively. The descriptions of "illuminations" from different master artists through time honestly made me want to shove a 'plume needle' in my own eyes. Honestly, many nights no more than 20-30 pages of this book put me to sleep like a baby.

Sadly, a generous 3 stars for the structure, concept, and lovely sentences. But the rest, I cannot recommend and was very disappointed. ( )
1 vote jhowell | Nov 26, 2015 |
Orhan Pamuk depicts his characters as exquisitely and minutely as the miniaturists of Istanbul depict their horses, leaves, women and warriors, and tells his tale as meticulously as the masters of old. A murder mystery that opens with the corpse describing his death and immediate afterlife, the quest for the killer involves an exploration of the clash between the old styles of illustration and illumination of the East and the new, Venetian style of the West which threatens to corrupt and supplant the other. The philosophies and spirtuality and politics of style and imitation are debated and explored and illuminated through parables and tales.
Slightly heavy - wrong word - slightly slow and absorbing going for a January full of other stresses and distractions and obligations, but well worth working through, triumphant and gorgeous and ultimately sad; a potentially immortal work of art to immortalise the passing of a style of art that was supposed to be immortal. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
The new one, ''My Name Is Red,'' is by far the grandest and most astonishing contest in Pamuk's internal East-West war. Translated with fluid grace by Erdag M. Goknor, the novel is set in the late 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Murat III, a patron of the miniaturists whose art had come over from Persia in the course of the previous hundred years. It was a time when the Ottomans' confidence in unstoppable empire had begun to be shaken by the power of the West -- their defeat at Lepanto had taken place only a few years earlier -- as well as by its cultural vitality and seductiveness.
 

» Add other authors (25 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orhan Pamukprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bertolini, MartaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campin, RobertCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorleijn, MargreetTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Göknar, ErdağTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gezgin, ŞemsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heijden, Hanneke van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Iren, IngridTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kojo, TuulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shen, ZhixingTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wondergem, MijkeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
You slew a man then fell out with another concerning him. (Koran, "The Cow," 72)

The blind and the seeing are not equal. (Koran, "The Creator," 19)

To God belongs the East and the West. (Koran, "The Cow," 115)
Dedication
For Rüya
First words
I am nothing but a corpse now, a body at the bottom of a well.
Quotations
Over long years, as we gaze at book after book and illustration after illustration, we come to learn the following: A great painter does not content himself by affecting us with his masterpieces; ultimately, he succeeds in changing the landscape of our minds. Once a miniaturist's artistry enters our souls this way, it becomes the criterion for the beauty of our world.
Books, which we mistake for consolation, only add depth to our sorrow.
Painting is the silence of thought and the music of sight.
Colour is the touch of the eye, music to the deaf, a word out of the darkness.
An artist's skill depends on carefully attending to the beauty of the present moment, taking everything down to the minutest detail seriously while, at the same time, stepping back from the world, which takes itself too seriously, and as if looking into a mirror, allowing for the distance and eloquence of a jest.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375706852, Paperback)

At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, My Name Is Red is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of sixteenth-century Istanbul, from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers.

The Sultan has commissioned a cadre of the most acclaimed artists in the land to create a great book celebrating the glories of his realm. Their task: to illuminate the work in the European style. But because figurative art can be deemed an affront to Islam, this commission is a dangerous proposition indeed. The ruling elite therefore mustn’t know the full scope or nature of the project, and panic erupts when one of the chosen miniaturists disappears. The only clue to the mystery–or crime? –lies in the half-finished illuminations themselves. Part fantasy and part philosophical puzzle, My Name is Red is a kaleidoscopic journey to the intersection of art, religion, love, sex and power.

Translated from the Turkish by Erda M Göknar

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:11 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A furor erupts in sixteenth-century Istanbul when the Sultan commissions the European-style illumination of a great book, and the situation worsens when one of the miniaturists vanishes mysteriously.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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