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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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4,629None1,026 (3.77)1 / 280
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

Work details

My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (1998)

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Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Absolutely gorgeous writing -- it's no wonder Pamuk won the Nobel. I remember at one point him going into just a little bit too much detail about one of the illuminator's project and being a little bored by it, but nevertheless it's a really excellent book and in fact a wonderful "mystery" novel in some respects. Pamuk treats the current tug-o-war between the secular and sacred political movements in Turkey with a fine and sharp wit. ( )
  50MinuteMermaid | Nov 14, 2013 |
Histoire d'un meurtre dans la congrégation des enlumineurs aux temps de la splendeur de Constantinople. Une fantastique reconstitution de cette époque brillante. Toutefois le récit pourrait être pénible à suivre à cause des aller-retours entre les personnages. ( )
  Lhiscock | Oct 27, 2013 |
I am in two minds about this book.

Obviously, it is an important work. It showcases the miniaturist tradition of the Islamic world, and uses the cloistered world of miniaturists to explore the difference in philosophies between the East and the West. It was all the more interesting to me because I have been fascinated by this difference ever since I began viewing paintings with serious interest. In the East, "perspective" does not exist: the painting flows seamlessy over space and time whereas in the West (especially since the Renaissance) the painting is the reproduction of a particular moment in time (we are not talking of abstractions here). The miniaturist paints the world as God sees it: he does not sign the painting, nor does he have an individual style, because he is unimportant. He continues painting (in fact, he paints better!) after he inevitably goes blind. The Frankish painters, in contrast, paint the world as we see it, which is blasphemy according to some of the miniaturists.

I was captivated by the sweep of the book as well as the way it was presented: short chapters, each from the viewpoint of a different character, as though we were looking at a book of miniatures which tells a different story on each page. Moreover, it is a murder mystery in which the victims as well as the murderer directly speak to the reader! It bears a certain resemblance to "The Name of the Rose" in this regard, although Eco's book is much more powerful according to me.

Coming to the minuses: the writing is cumbersome and a task to wade through. I do not know if this is a problem with Pamuk's writing or the translation. The characters are flat: the protagonist (Black) is too weak and cowardly: the heroine (if we can call her that!) too self-centred and manipulative. Maybe the author intended them to be like that, but it does lose reader interest.

I was also rather put off by the amount of lust bubbling on each page. Homosexuality, incest, paedophilia, bestiality, fetishism... everything is there, simmering just beneath the surface. Young boys are regularly presented as objects of lust. Men kiss each other passionately, even when one is about to kill the other! I have heard that Turkey was the centre of "deviant" sexual practices during Ottoman times, so maybe it is a true picture, but it did not vibe with me.

So...adding the negatives and positives, I will go for three stars. ( )
  Nandakishore_Varma | Sep 28, 2013 |
Interesting mystery and cultural awareness. Pamuk does a fascinating job with how he structures a book and tells a story. ( )
  untraveller | Sep 17, 2013 |
a very difficult book for me to read. It takes a lot of concentration that I currently not possess. Will have to try this book at some other time again. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Aug 19, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (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 (26 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
Kojo, TuulaTranslatorsecondary 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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:04:44 -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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