2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
Orhan Pamuk is a modern Turkish writer, widely known not only in Turkey, but also far beyond its borders. He is the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Received the award in 2006. His novel "White Fortress" has been translated into several languages and has received worldwide recognition.
About the writer
Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul. His parents were famous engineers in the city and wanted their son to continue the family tradition and become a civil engineer. At the insistence of the family, Orhan entered a technical institute in Istanbul after graduating from college, but after three years of successful study, he left it, deciding to become a professional writer, enrolling in the Faculty of Journalism for this purpose. After graduating, he lived in New York for several years, then returned to Istanbul.
Orhan Pamuk is a professor at Columbia University, where he lectures on world literary history and writing.
The beginning of creativityway
The writer's first major novel was called Cevdet Bey and His Sons, telling the story of several generations of a family that lives in Istanbul.
The main themes that the writer works on and tries to reveal in his books are the confrontation between the West and the East, as well as religious conflicts between Muslims and Christians. The writer considers it necessary to talk about this, since it is part of the history of not only the country, but the world as a whole. However, it was The White Fortress that brought him international fame.
About the book
"White Fortress" is a major contribution to the study of the "master - slave" theme, which for centuries has remained the most discussed in the pages of literature. The topic remains relevant in our time of free will. Starting "White Fortress" in Turkish, Orhan Pamuk knew exactly how to attract an international audience to his book. The history of Turkey during the period of the Sultanate always arouses increased public interest, in contrast to modern Turkey. Therefore, the action takes place in the Middle Ages. With the right direction, The White Fortress became the first work of a Turkish writer to be translated into English. The English version of the book became available to foreign readers at the end of 1990. At the same time, the writer moved to New York and worked at Columbia University teaching Turkish.
The historical novel "White Fortress" by Orhan Pamuk was released in 1985 andimmediately took its rightful place among the masterpieces of literature. The book takes place in the 17th century and tells an interesting story about a young Italian Christian, a resident of Venice, who, by the will of fate, was captured into slavery and began to serve in the house of a Turk. He had a reputation as a strange man who was obsessed with the study of higher matters and knowledge of the universe. It so happened that the Venetian and the Turk were like two drops of water similar to each other. For a long time they lived together and became very dependent on each other. The owner of the Venetian tried to unravel the mysterious story in his life. This is a summary of the "White Fortress". It is found in many literary magazines around the world.
The main mystery of the book
One of the main characters of the "White Fortress" is a Turk named Hadji. The man is amazing and at the same time frightening, combining many human qualities, sometimes not at all in harmony with each other. Very often, Haji is not confident in himself, but does not show it to others. He is dreamy and very vulnerable. Any word, carelessly spoken or accidentally dropped, is always taken personally and is very worried about this, building inexplicable theories. Most often, the result of such thoughts is sad thoughts, apathy, unwillingness to live and enjoy the world around.
But sometimes, on the contrary, Hadji considers himself the crown of creation, a man who managed to unravelseveral secrets of the universe, and from this he considers other people fools. People who live peacefully, work honestly and earn their bread by hard work, who do not seek to learn anything new.
The author endowed the hero with such a quality as fear, but most often this fear is addressed to his own personality. Apathy is replaced by Hadji's pride in himself.
Having a European Christian in his service, the hero sometimes had conversations with him in which he ridiculed European culture, but at the same time, contradicting himself, timidly asked his slave how life in Europe works and what life consists of ordinary European citizen.
All the qualities of the main character constantly interact with each other, change, influence each other. There are scenes in the book when Istanbul was engulfed in a plague. Hadji was afraid. But after the plague had left the city, he, in the most cheerful mood, convinced his slave that in fact he was not afraid of anything, but simply tested him for strength. This expresses the strangeness of the Turk, which the inhabitants of the city sometimes take for madness.
Reviews from Turkish readers
Reviews about the book in the author's native Turkish land are rather mixed. This is due to the fact that Pamuk openly raises topics that the Turkish government, in his opinion, is silent. The case concerns Turkish Armenians who were persecuted by the Turks in the past. The government filed a lawsuit against the writer, but the case was closed due to Turkey's accession to the European Union.
BMost Turkish citizens, the writer's compatriots, liked the book. They saw in it not only a fictional story. Readers were really excited about the interaction of cultures and religions, because the modern world is filled with war and cruelty.
The opinion of European readers
In Europe, the book "White Fortress" caused a flurry of emotions. For the most part, readers were amazed by the theme of the book, which in such a form, simple and at the same time confusing, had not been presented by anyone before Pamuk. European readers paid special attention to the time at which the events described took place. The period of the Muslim Middle Ages and the sultanate has always attracted the reader, and in the book the writer most simply and accurately combined, in the opinion of the majority, two such incompatible concepts as Islam and Christianity.
One of the leading European newspapers, the French "Figaro", on its pages devoted to the cultural section, called the "White Fortress" a unique work that can plunge a person into an abyss of thought. Moreover, according to the publication, one can think not only about religion and culture, but also about the influence of a person's social life on his perception of the world.
Reviews in Russia
Russia has always been the most reading country in the world. And as soon as the White Fortress by Orhan Pamuk went on sale, it was sold out within a week.
Readers were divided into two peculiar camps. One reads a booksaw in it the problems of interaction between two opposite cultures, mutual fears of the West and the East. The book has only 190 pages. Despite the small volume, the author, according to Russian readers, was able to fully fit and reveal the topic of interest to him. The novel turned out exactly as the writer intended, fully embodying the vision of the characters, accurately conveying their character and everyday life of the 17th century.
The second half of the readers were dissatisfied with the book. Many who had heard about the book of the Turkish writer hurried to read it and were left in unpleasant perplexity. First, the novel seemed to them boring and tedious. Many readers in their reviews of the book say that such a topic as confrontation or interaction between two neighboring, but completely different cultures and religions, cannot be fully disclosed on almost two hundred pages. This is blasphemy, some say.
There are readers who have not accepted the author's style. Despite the fact that the book is written according to classical literary canons, it kills interest in reading with its short, abrupt sentences. This creates an almost zero impression, book lovers say.
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