The White Castle, Orhan Pamuk's celebrated first novel, is the tale of a young Italian scholar captured by pirates and put up for auction at the ...Show synopsisThe White Castle, Orhan Pamuk's celebrated first novel, is the tale of a young Italian scholar captured by pirates and put up for auction at the Istanbul slave market. Acquired by a brilliant Turkish inventor, he is set to work on projects to entertain the jaded Sultan.Hide synopsis
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After countless wasted hours at bookstores flirting with other authors, I discovered you, a "new" author I could enthuse about grandly, knowing that with time you would receive the Nobel Prize for literature while I boasted about having read everything of you had written.
You reminded me of Milan Kundera and Umberto Eco. There was also the uniquely rich, varied texture of Instanbul, inferred in this particular novel but none the less quite present for me. (Perhaps i should say that "My Name is Red" is a joyous frolic, a magnum opus, a great success and a good place for your newer readers to start, if they need background in 16th century Istanbul.)
Still I hope no one who reads "Red" misses "White Castle." I found it a serious yet gently amusing exercise in pondering the many meanings of "identity. " It seesm to be somethign that you have contemplated more deeply than most. There are some telling moments where the book's two look-a-likes, slave (captive Italian) and Hoja (Turkish for Master) try to tease out their individual nuances and idiosyncracities.
The result is subtle and astonishing. For me, the breathtaking moment was the contrast of the Slaves's anxiety in the face of mounting plaque and Hoja's fearlessness, when faced with the same. Your work is modern literature for romantic thinkers. White Castle is a brilliant play on identity. Anyone who has spent a few introspective moments post 9/11 et al, should in my huble opinion at least read this contrast and synthesis in western-eastern idea.
So please dear Orhan, although it may have been a long road to the Nobel, it is I who have gained everything, rich hours spent over dark coffee, your book(s) clasped firmly in hand because I could not deny myself the pleasure of reading them, sometimes to the detriment of all other obligations.
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