Orhan Pamuk and the East-West Dichotomy

  • Emilia Parpală University of Craiova
  • Rimona Afana
Keywords: enunciation, identity, miniature, portrait, My Name is Red, Orhan Pamuk, transculturation


The paper focuses on the manner in which O. Pamuk deconstructs the East-West dichotomy in his allegoric novel My Name is Red. We consider that the following isotopies are relevant for the interface between literature and the postmodern discourse on interculturalism and transculturation: (a) dialogism and indirectness (Pamuk replaced Eco’s semiotic theme with an identity theme, thus suggesting a retrospective reading of The Name of the Rose as a novel of European Christian identity); (b) the liminality of the chronotop (the decline of the Ottoman power, Istanbul as a transitional and cosmopolitan space); (c) the issue of style: miniature vs. portrait (the theocentric Islamic art vs. the anthropocentric Western art); (d) the polyphonic enunciation (Pamuk practises a literature of view points, a combination of Eastern and Western styles). Detrimental to political theories, the Turkish Nobel Prize winner pleads for an authentic personal and national identity, for the need for keeping the integrity through synthesis, tolerance, faith and self-consciousness.


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