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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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5,267133839 (3.76)1 / 348
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 (110)  French (7)  Italian (5)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Indonesian (1)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Dutch (1)  All (1)  All (133)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
“Tell me then, does love make one a fool or do only fools fall in love?”

The novel is set in 1591 Istanbul during the reign of Sultan Murat III, a patron of the miniaturists whose art had come over from Persia. It was a time when the Ottomans empire had begun wane under the influence of the power of the West. The story revolves around two murders; one a master miniaturist Elegant, one of four artists commissioned to produce a new book, the other Enishte, the man who under the Sultan's instructions commissioned them. The book is secret with even the miniaturists unsure as to its final appearance as each have only seen parts and none have seen the whole. Their drawings are done with a Western influence and each is fearful of being branded heretics by their Muslim brethren.

The art of miniature depicts figures with great beauty and variety but without individual characters or expressions. The paintings stand not as themselves but strictly as illustrations of text. The style the sultan's artists are surreptitiously instructed to adopt is different. Figures are individual, portraits are of specific people and these paintings are not illustrations; they stand as works of art in their own right. Why should this be heresy? Basically people and things ''weren't depicted according to their importance in Allah's mind but as they appeared to the naked eye.''

There are various elaborations on the concept of ''Eastern'' art and how it contrasts with "Western" art but entwined with this is the pursuit of Enishte's daughter, Sekure, by Black, a man who had been in love with her when he was a youth and who had recently returned to the city after an absence of 12 years and is hopeful of rekindling his affection and her brother-in-law Hasan. Her husband having failed to returned from war some four years previous.

The story is told from the viewpoint dozen characters, including a dog, a tree, a gold coin, the killer and the colour crimson (''My Name Is Red'') and this can be very confusing at times so much so that on more than one occasion I was tempted to throw in the towel and quit. What kept me going was to see who the murderer was, both men were killed by the same person, and who ultimately won the hand of fair Sekure (a character that I couldn't really take to if I'm perfectly honest). Ultimately I was left rather disappointed as how this pursuit of Sekure turned out as it seemed to me to finish far too abruptly and limply. Overall not a great read for me. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Dec 30, 2016 |
John Lee gives an excellent narration for this historical fiction novel.

I knew a small amount about the 16th century Ottoman Empire so found the dispute between traditional Islamic artistic style and the 'new' Frankish style of more realistic imagery fascinating. Some might not care for the way the story is told from many perspectives (including a corpse in the opening chapter, a dog and a counterfeit coin) but I liked the way each narrator gives a different side of life at this time in Istanbul. And being a mystery buff, I liked the way the murderer gave his parts with subtle clues but I was still guessing right up to the end!

What was less to my taste (but an important part of the book) was the sometimes lengthy discussions about various famous (?) artists and their works & how art fit into the Muslim religion. These sections would have been better for me in written (rather than audio) form - the Arabic and Turkish names were sometimes difficult to identify and remember (and I can't flip back and refresh my memory with a digital audiobook the way I could in print or even ebook form). ( )
  leslie.98 | Nov 13, 2016 |
I enjoyed much of the book, which to me was a new look at a culture/religion I'm not very familiar with, but page after page describing the details of illustrations was wearing thin. ( )
  sbluerock | Nov 5, 2016 |
The premise is great, the story telling manner is also interesting (i've never seen a story told like that before), and it did keep me guessing (and i almost guessed too), but the book is much too tedious.. too many stories and details, too many tangents, too many things i really didn't care for to hear. ( )
  avalinah | Sep 11, 2016 |
"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 . . . "
  MerrittGibsonLibrary | Jul 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (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 editionscalculated
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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Original title: Benim adim Kirmizi
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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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