Reconstruction of the Form and Structure of Persian Painting in Orhan Pamuk’s My Name Is Red
My Name Is Red is a novel that contains a small world of painting. The novel, set in late 16th-century Istanbul, revolves around a small group of miniature experts and narrates a story of murder, love, art and philosophy narrated by several people in first-person perspectives. Postmodernist narrative features are apparently displayed in narrations. Therefore, we can see several stories in this novel. First is the story of love between Kara and Shekure, and the other is the disagreement between the court painters and the murders that follow. Fear of the court painters of breaking the old miniature traditions and turning to Western painting is another interesting topic narrated here. The novel has been based on these main motivational stories. Another important issue in My Name Red is the information offered to the reader on the miniature history, explanation of miniature with short stories, the interpretation of this art and other related issues. The novel also illustrates the confrontation between Eastern and Western art among the events. The paper aims to study and compare the impact of Persian painting on the structural and contextual narration of My Name Is Red. What this essay seeks to address is the appearance of Persian painting at the heart of the narrative, on which Pamuk has founded his story's structure. By examining the structure of the novel, one can see that the novel has been developed based on pre-existing materials, just as a Persian painting is based on pre-existing paintings. Therefore, one can say that the foundation of My Name Is Red have been based on Persian painting and the textual world around it. Studies show that most of the pre-texts used in this novel are visual, thus, at best, this structure can be studied and investigated through ekphrasis. Pamuk has incorporated visual pre-texts of Persian paintings through both actual and notional ekphrasis. Ekphrasis is the most powerful tool that Pamuk has used to create the visual world of his novel. The present study attempts to find answers to how the form and structure of Iranian painting has been reconstructed in My Name Is Red. For this purpose, descriptive-analytical research method and library research have been employed to collect information. A number of actual and notional ekphrasis that the author has described in his novel have been identified and elaborated upon. Then, through bringing their pictures, the study illustrates how Pamuk has used them. The characteristics of the Herat School in the descriptions of several scenes of the novel have clear references to some Iranian paintings. The matching of these sections confirms the formal and structural connection of the novel ‘My Name is Red’ with Persian painting. This novel’s charm and significance is due to detailed descriptions of the visual world of Persian paintings. Therefore, painting plays an important role in this novel and presents different features and the history of this art. This study identifies and explains many of the objective ekphrasis that this author has described; through the description of the images of these assemblies, one can find out how these images have been born into words by Pamuk, then we’ll came to the cases where Pamuk's representation of Persian paintings is in the fictional context of the novel. Orhan Pamuk defining features of the Herat School in the descriptions of the novel are close to many scenes to Persian paintings, as if we are watching familiar scenes of illustrations. Comparing this novel’ narration with the paintings brings to mind the theory of intertextuality and reveals the formal and structural entanglement of the novel, My Name Is Red, with Persian painting. The study of important historical and artistic pieces of information and pretexts indicates that this novel can be considered as one of the most remarkable literary works of fiction in contemporary world literature. The world of ‘My Name Is Red’ is surrounded by paintings and their stories that can be seen everywhere and in every field. My Name Is Red is itself a miniature painting created by Pamuk. In fact, he has painted with words. Pamuk has portrayed the scenes, characters, and details of this narrative like a painting. There is a harmonious relationship between words and images. The author describes the visual feature through the verbal characters. Miniature and portraiture styles of painting are described through the medium of written language. The findings of this study prove that this author has used the same techniques for narration. My Name Is Red offers a new perspective to writing and reading literary works. This novel makes use of the potentials of words and phrases to create images. Analyzing and the results of the studies conducted through the lens of visual culture and ekphrasis reveals the author's extraordinary talent in representing this type of writing. It puts before us a novel that is like illustrated copies of images. This narration is filled with images each of which has its own story.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Journal of Theoretical principles of Visual Arts, Volume:5 Issue: 1, 2020
38 - 52  
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