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Wanting to Be Something Else

Adam Shatz: Orhan Pamuk, 7 January 2010

The Museum of Innocence 
by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Maureen Freely.
Faber, 720 pp., £18.99, December 2009, 978 0 571 23700 5
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... writing formally adventurous, learned novels about the passionate collision of East and West? Orhan Pamuk is frequently described as a bridge between two great civilisations, and his major theme – the persistence of memory and tradition in Westernising, secular Turkey – is of a topicality, a significance, that it seems churlish to deny. His eight ...

But Little Bequalmed

Christopher Tayler: Louis de Bernières’s Decency, 2 September 2004

Birds without Wings 
by Louis de Bernières.
Secker, 625 pp., £17.99, July 2004, 0 436 20549 1
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... of uncomplaining complaint’. De Bernières also names several chapters after their narrators, as Orhan Pamuk does in My Name Is Red (2001): ‘I am Philothei’, ‘I am Ayse’, ‘I am Ibrahim’, ‘I am Karatavuk’. He throws in a soldier called Orhan and a cat called ...


Patrick Parrinder, 5 October 1995

The Black Book 
by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Güneli Gün.
Faber, 400 pp., £14.99, July 1995, 0 571 16892 2
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... with the life of Istanbul streets, but it is also a looking-glass novel of stories within stories. Pamuk’s city is both an Aladdin’s Cave full of glittering signifiers, and an echo-chamber where, wandering in disguise like Haroun-al-Raschid, the searcher encounters phantoms of himself. Galip comes across other devotees of Jelal’s newspaper column – a ...

A Turk, a Turk, a Turk

Christopher Tayler: Orhan Pamuk, 5 August 2004

by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Maureen Freely.
Faber, 436 pp., £12.99, May 2004, 0 571 22065 7
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... Be yourself,’ a beautiful woman called Ipek says to Ka, the protagonist of Orhan Pamuk’s newly translated novel, Snow (Kar, 2002), when he asks how to win her heart. Though kindly meant, it’s discouraging advice to give one of Pamuk’s characters, for whom being themselves is difficult ...

What’s the hook?

Helen Thaventhiran, 27 January 2022

Hooked: Art and Attachment 
by Rita Felski.
Chicago, 199 pp., £18, October 2020, 978 0 226 72963 3
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... a writer being ‘hammered by’ Matisse, of Thelma and Louise striking ‘a nerve’, of Orhan Pamuk feeling his ‘body sever itself’ on reading a book’s opening page, of a filmgoer being ‘knocked backward by a sound’. She wants to shape a more ‘robust and refined’ language of attachment, but the emphasis is perhaps too much on ...


Elif Batuman: Pamuk’s Museum, 7 June 2012

... was a lot of furniture, which had come with the apartment. It wasn’t long before I heard that Orhan Pamuk was in town, building a museum. The museum was said to be full of stuff that had ‘belonged’ to the protagonists of his last novel, The Museum of Innocence. If you knocked on the door, he would let you in and show you the heroine’s old ...

Ultimate Choice

Malcolm Bull: Thoughts of Genocide, 9 February 2006

The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing 
by Michael Mann.
Cambridge, 580 pp., £17.99, January 2005, 0 521 53854 8
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Genocide in the Age of the Nation State. Vol. I: The Meaning of Genocide 
by Mark Levene.
Tauris, 266 pp., £24.50, August 2005, 1 85043 752 1
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Genocide in the Age of the Nation State: Vol. II: The Rise of the West and the Coming of Genocide 
by Mark Levene.
Tauris, 463 pp., £29.50, August 2005, 1 84511 057 9
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... in effect, misjudgments, failures of statesmanship, perhaps. These are not hypothetical arguments. Orhan Pamuk was until recently awaiting trial for affirming the existence of an Armenian genocide, while the president of Iran has cast doubt on the Holocaust, and floated the idea of relocating the state of Israel in Central Europe. Mann and Levene both see ...

On Not Going Home

James Wood, 20 February 2014

... a by-product of successful capitalism, and of a globalised aesthetic that prizes writers who, like Orhan Pamuk, Ma Jian and Haruki Murakami, are thought to have transcended local issues and acquired a ‘universal relevance’.It’s hard not to share the derision, once the victim has been so tendentiously trussed. Who could possibly approve of this ...

After Kemal

Perry Anderson, 25 September 2008

... respects a livelier radical milieu than London, Paris or Berlin. This is the setting out of which Orhan Pamuk – not exempt from friendly criticism in it – along with other leading Turkish writers, comes. If there is a blind spot in the outlook of this intellectual left, it is Cyprus, about which few know much and most say less. But on the other two ...

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