THE NARRATION OF ORHAN PAMUK IN HIS ESSAYS IS AS IF HE IS A PROTAGONIST. HE VIEWS AND ASSESES THE EVENTS AS IF HE IS A PROTAGONIST.
What he writes is very educative and thought provoking as well. Pamuk tells about his self-conscious world in a way that you think what he presents is all related to Turkey.
Cemal Süreya says “He should have called his whole work a memoire” for Nurullah Ataç. This observation of Cemal Süreya is valid for the essays of Orhan Pamuk. His essays are not different from his memoires at all. It is not possible to find anything else but his own personality and life in the essays of Orhan Pamuk.
Pieces from the Landscape (İletişim Publications) consists of his essays collected under three main titles: life, streets, and literature. In fact, what Orhan Pamuk tells in the life and streets sound like they were meant for his book called İstanbul but they did not make it into the novel to ensure its integrity. What he tells in the literature part is in Pieces from the Landscape because they were written after Other Colors were published, otherwise they would have found a place for themselves in Other Colors as well. However, all of these books and essays taste like a memoire. This is so normal because no matter what subject Orhan Pamuk writes he treats it as a novelist would.
Orhan Pamuk does not feel the need of thinking as a sociologist, philosopher, or a literary critic. This also does not change when he writes about books. Yet, he has not written only about novels. For instance, he writes a foreword for the Turkish edition of the famous poet Coleridge’s famous poem titled the Ancient Mariner. He talks about why he likes Coleridge so much in the foreword. In fact, what we read in here is not Coleridge, it is again Orhan Pamuk or rather the Coleridghe that exists in Orhan Pamuk’s world of thought. In other words, Pamuk does not feel the need of reflecting Coleridge as is. He is satisfied with expressing his reflection in him. Maybe, that is why the narration of Orhan Pamuk in his essays is as if he is a protagonist. He views and assesses the events as if he is a protagonist. We can even go further and say that the border between his novels and his essays has been erased.
We are not underestimating the value of it by saying that there are parts in Pieces from the Landscape that did not make it into Pamuk’s novels. On the contrary, we are saying how valuable they are, because whom we are talking about his essays is an author who was deemed worthy of a Nobel Prize with his novels. That is why there are doors that open to his novels in Pamuk’s essays. We see Pamuk’s novels loud and clear when we read his essays. We enter to the world of novels much easier thanks to these essays. This allows readers to asses Pamuk’s novels more realistically. However, this also prevents readers from generating them in their own imagination in order to look at them from a realistic point of view. Realism is a method to be used rather by historians and critics of literature.
Therefore, we have been suggesting that Pieces from the Landscape had been written in a completely subjective manner. Being subjective of the ideas does not mean that they are not educative, not thought provoking, nor open to arguments. To the opposite, what he writes is very educative and thought provoking as well. Pamuk tells about his self-conscious world in a way that you think what he presents is all related to Turkey. He continuously talks about himself; however, this doesn’t evoke the ‘who cares about you’ feeling in readers. I guess the power of Orhan Pamuk’s writing comes from here.
The Library of the Author:
- Road Condition, Kamil Yeşil, 2013, Profil Books
- Epidemia, Seyhan Arslan, 2017, Beyan Publications
- Pure Strategy, Everett Carl Dolman, 2017, Avangard Books
- Esoteric, Şehbenderzade Filibeli Ahmed Hilmi, 2016, Büyüyen Ay Publications