Orhan Pamuk, One of My Favourite Novelists
It was in the Spring of 2006, still ten months away from the big news- Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish novelist, was announced the winner of Nobel Prize in October, I found My Name Is Red (Turkish: Benim Adım Kırmızı) in Central Secretariat Library. Just a few days back I had read an article on him but it was not the Pamuk but the name of the book which attracted me. I started to read it and I must admit it that it immediately swept me away with its flow. Despite being it a budget session and heavy pressure of work, I continued it without break.
All the characters, their names, names of places and their stories were completely new to me. I could not link myself with them, except with their emotions. It was an amazing world of mystery and romance mixed together. And above all the mastery of the creator! Wonderful.
It is the magical world of love and passion of Kara (Black), miniaturist and binder, who is nephew of Enishte. It is also the story of the most beautiful woman Shekure, Enishte's beautiful daughter, whose husband has gone missing. While she waits for her husband, two men- Balck and her husband’s brother- almost fight for her. Though they are main characters of the novel, the story is not limited to them. It takes us into the strange world of miniaturists of the Ottoman Empire.
This novel left a big impact on my mind. And I started searching for his other novels. Soon I found his other novel Snow (Turkish: Kar) translated into English by Maureen Freely and published in 2004.
And I still wonder which one is the best. Its whole story is set in Turkish city of Kars. When Ka the protagonist of the novel returns to Kars after twelve years in Germany, he meets İpek, whom he once had feelings for, and stays in the hotel her father runs. İpek is very beautiful woman and Ka is unable to stop himself from falling for her. But then a series of incidents occur and in the last a heart broken Ka returns to Germany. It is certainly not a love story, but a political one but they way Pamuk had mixed love, sex, politics, revolution, education and history is not only amazing but also leaves readers gasping.
What struck me most was the way Pamuk ends both of his novels. To me it seems he wants to say that this world is imperfect. Our longings and desires cannot be fulfilled ever, because as much we get so much we desire.
I also read his The Black Book. But it disappointed me. Though the story is good and Pamuk’s presence is also palpable, but I couldn’t follow it.
I hope to read his other books soon.