Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Been reading My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk. The writing is top-class and the book is very literary, in the mould of Umberto Eco's The Name Of The Rose. Only halfway through it yet, but already Pamuk has managed to weave a thrilling mystery. It's also very sensual, the writing. Every kind of sexual act, save incest and bestiality, are described with a profound lyricism. Tales of courtesans and gigolos (doesn’t fit here: a very American term, it fails to capture the eastern, Islamic feel of the book) fill the pages and an Istanbul rife with sexual energy and artistic passions comes alive. Why are those (bestiality, incest) left out, is a wonder Pamuk must answer himself, for he has a habit of imbuing even the most mundane with a magic touch, so that even rape and deviancy become acceptable. For in his book, everything, even cruelty, arises from a spring of essential humanity. More on this later.