Orhan Pamuk's My Name Is Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

" But Pamuk's techniques force the reader to come to the conclusion that an artistic identity must fuse both past and present, have some flexibility and personal style, yet innovate with the demands of modernity terms of the way tradition is presented. This is the implied counsel of Pamuk's story. Learn from the past, as he urges readers to do by writing a historical narrative. However, do not slavishly follow or copy the past, or lock the self away from outside influences, including those influences of other religions and cultures. Pamuk suggests that a unilateral idea of Western selfishness is not sustaining, and he provides instruction for Westerners how to view the concept of the self to understand Islam, but ultimately a modern artist cannot live blind like Osman, blind to the presence of other points-of-view, however beautiful Osman's art may have been. Utter self-annihilation in art and in life leads to stasis.

Ultimately, My Name is Red is a modern version of the past. And all versions of the past are just that -- modern versions. Although the Sultan's desire to mimic and impress the West may be shallow, to despise the West is not therefore better and deeper, as espoused by radical isolationist clerics who see only immorality in modernity. In his shifting perspective, Pamuk creates a series of mirrors of past and present, and muses upon the significance of the image in art is perhaps the ideal way to do so. The image is intrinsically of the artist's perspective, yet also detached, and of something else. The traditional artist like Osman deludes himself that he is seeing and painting something else that is not 'himself' and yet not 'real' and infringing upon the right of Allah. Art springs from the individual, yet it is also located within a particular mode of cultural and artistic production and vocabulary. It is both contradictory things, simultaneously, and Pamuk simultaneously maintains a variety of voices and perspectives skillfully throughout My Name is Red.

Works Cited

Pamuk, Orham. My Name is Red. Translated by Erdaq Goknar. New York: Vintage, 2002.

Orham Pamuk, My Name is Red, translated by Erdaq Goknar, (New York: Vintage, 2002), p.3

Pamuk, p.322

Pamuk, p.323

Pamuk, 261

Pamuk, p.74

Pamuk, p.7

Pamuk, p. 125


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