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My Name Is Red (1998)

by Orhan Pamuk

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,2771501,184 (3.77)1 / 403
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.
Recently added byprivate library, SErdman, porgif, theswain, dowswell, sharvani, eudaemonist, AlexanderPatico
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» See also 403 mentions

English (123)  French (8)  Italian (7)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Indonesian (1)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (149)
Showing 1-5 of 123 (next | show all)
Meh. Yes, lots of thoughtful things happening here, but could've been shorter and more tightly edited. Felt indulgent. ( )
  maryroberta | Jul 5, 2021 |
I wish I could have liked this novel more because there were many things about it that I loved. Pamuk's writing can be gorgeous (though at times slow). I thought it was fascinating the way he explained the Ottoman and Persian Empires of the 16th century and how art, religion, and politics were interrelated and clashed with the West (referred to specifically as Venetians, their main contact with Christendom, and generally as Franks). Perhaps the book attempts too much in trying to be an exploration of art and Islam, a romance, and a murder mystery all at once. In any case, I don't think it quite succeeded as a romance or a mystery. I wanted to care more about Shekure and Black, but found myself more interested in Black's uncle (Shekure's father) and some of the narrated drawings (especially Satan). The romantic tension of Black's pursuit of Shekure seemed forced. Of course, in a way, it was, and perhaps that's the point. But it was still unsatisfying. As for the mystery, I figured that out early (and this is the spoiler), as Olive was the only miniaturist who was unmarried and had an obssession for Shekure. The other two made a point of talking about their love for their wives. It could have been a false clue, but no. So it was a little disappointing to lose all the suspense there and have no surprise at the end. But overall, it was well worth reading if you're interested in the subject matter. I'd definitely read another novel by Pamuk. ( )
  alexlubertozzi | May 24, 2021 |
My name is black. I am Red. I, Shekure. All things appear equal in the eyes of Allah.

A beautiful painting in a book. A medium transcribed, with the visions of the story from all angles portrayed through the individual perspectives of each chapter/painting. A subtle and intelligent murder mystery, a romantic tale, a classic, told through the eyes of portraits in a way that contorts the reader and makes them re-think everything they could know about art and perspective. Absolutely spectacular. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
Whilst I attempt to get my own thoughts in order, for those curious about this book, I strongly recommend reading both Nandakishore's review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/225675190?book_show_action=false&from_... and Whitaker's here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/66808624?book_show_action=false&from_r...

The fact that the reviews are so very different in content, attitude, the lot surely has something to do with the book.

More later.

And, ahem...almost three years later:

But I simply couldn’t think of anything good to say. I’ve discovered, however, that I have company, I’m not the only person in the world who has an aversion for this book. Discovering that has given me the strength to move on without feeling like it must be my fault or that I should be feeling guilty. As much as I loved Museum of Innocence I dislike this.

There, I’ve said it. And do go to the reviews referenced above to read erudite discussions of this book. But for me, I've taken off a star and I do still wonder if that is kind. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Whilst I attempt to get my own thoughts in order, for those curious about this book, I strongly recommend reading both Nandakishore's review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/225675190?book_show_action=false&from_... and Whitaker's here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/66808624?book_show_action=false&from_r...

The fact that the reviews are so very different in content, attitude, the lot surely has something to do with the book.

More later.

And, ahem...almost three years later:

But I simply couldn’t think of anything good to say. I’ve discovered, however, that I have company, I’m not the only person in the world who has an aversion for this book. Discovering that has given me the strength to move on without feeling like it must be my fault or that I should be feeling guilty. As much as I loved Museum of Innocence I dislike this.

There, I’ve said it. And do go to the reviews referenced above to read erudite discussions of this book. But for me, I've taken off a star and I do still wonder if that is kind. ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 123 (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 (24 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
Самуилова, РозияTranslatorsecondary 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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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.

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