My Name is Red

My Name is Red: A fiction by Ferit Orhan Pamuk

I bought this novel in 2007 and it becomes my first novel written by a Nobel laureate, who happens to be a Turkish. I remember that moment. It was like love at the first sight when I read the first passages of My Name is Red. Truly speaking, I was challenged to create superb first paragraph, in order to captivate and lure readers, when I read its opening. A narration of a dead man about doesn’t know any clues on his murderer. The use of the first-point of view Orhan Pamuk in this novel has enricjed my past experience. About this novel, I would say that My Name is Red is the most successful first person in a novel. Orhan Pamuk is truly a rising star from East.

Regardless of Pamuk’s activism which makes the awarding process contains political purpose, My Name is Red, I think deserves the prize. The novel has magnificent characterization – something that makes me wonder on how Pamuk could do so. It has complete, through and detailed characterization. It is said that Pamuk had spent nearly 6 years to finish this novel. Thus, I feel the need to show some respect towards his work by reading it in concise manner and over. Frankly speaking, such behavior doesn’t bring boredom since the more I read, then the more imagination I get. Only in this novel I could imagine massive as an illustration, a lover, an envelope, an onion, a coin, a dead man and a dog.

My Name is Red tells us the story of a man named Black who comes back to his native city in order to solve a mysterious murder. Then he meets his old flame, Shekure, and her sons – Shevket and Orhan. Still looking for the answer, Black encounters more murder, including the one which actors to his uncle. What happens then to Black? Can he solve the puzzling murder? How is this relationship with Sekure?

This novel tells a story about painting and or illustrator according to Islamic culture. The origin of conflict in My Name is Red is the wish of the Sultan to be visualized the way western civilization does. It causes ‘trouble’ among his illustrators and artists. The topic seems to be simple and predictable. But, Pamuk’s strong characterization, coupled with his brilliant anecdotes, narrations, humor, sharp and witty remarks will captivate and amaze his readers.

On broader sense, My Name is Red represents classical problem among Turkish: A clash between Western paradigm and Eastern (or Islamic) paradigm. This is common issue among Pamuk’s work. However, the novel is the best work of his, I think. For its literary content, beautiful narration, and the choice of the theme, and the way Pamuk delivers or evokes the emotion of his readers to imagine more and more on the work.


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