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My Name Is Red (Everyman's Library…

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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4,924127929 (3.75)1 / 328
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

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My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (1998)


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English (106)  French (7)  Italian (4)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Indonesian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
(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. ( )
  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 |
This book was very slow and difficult read. There was way too much information about the theory of art in Muslim religion. In addition I found the amount of talk about aberrant sexuality disturbing (e.g., sex with young boy apprentices and sex with animals). ( )
  KamGeb | May 12, 2015 |
I originally picked up this book for a world fiction reading challenge a couple of years ago, but got bogged down about halfway in and gave up. I eventually decided to give it another go, and this time I managed to finish it. In Istanbul in the late sixteenth century, the Sultan asks a retired and highly-regarded miniaturist to manage the creation of a book to celebrate his reign. But this book will not be illustrated in the Persian style, as is considered proper and religiously correct, but in the European style (depictions of people and animals is haram in Islam; hence Islamic art’s focus on calligraphy and architecture). But one of the miniaturists secretly approached to provide illustrations, or part of the illustrations, disagrees with the project and murders one of the other miniaturists. The novel is structured as first-person narratives by all those involved, including the murdered victims, the daughter of the man managing the project, and a young man who has returned to Istanbul after years in the provinces to ask for the daughter’s hand… It’s not the fastest-paced of murder-mysteries, and Pamuk seems fond of presenting the same piece of information from several different viewpoints so they more or less contradict, or at least, confuse each other. But I did think My Name is Red was very good… although I wasn’t so taken I plan to seek out Pamuk’s other novels. ( )
  iansales | Mar 14, 2015 |
Sights set too high, I suppose. I'd been told "Much better than Snow. You'll love it." and it's true; shifting (eccentric!) perspectives and lush miniaturist detail kept things moving along at a pleasant clip. The book didn't begin to feel like a slog until the halfway point, when the misery of the latter part of the novel became inevitable, and the lengthy History of Miniaturism interludes grew ever larger, ever more tedious.
Maybe if I too had the tenacity to paint individual tree leaves on a grain of rice I would feel more tolerant of the lists. More accepting of didactic tone. More circuitous. More willing to let myself grow blind with the effort. ( )
  ternary | Feb 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (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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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)
For Rüya
First words
I am nothing but a corpse now, a body at the bottom of a well.
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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