WIT Press


ARCHITECTURE AND THE INSCRIPTION OF HISTORY: ORHAN PAMUK’S REPRESENTATION OF ISTANBUL

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/IHA180091

Volume

177

Pages

10

Page Range

117 - 126

Published

2018

Size

1,571 kb

Author(s)

SAMAR H. ALJAHDALI

Abstract

The city of Istanbul has taken centre stage in the writings of the Turkish novelist, and Nobel-Prize winner, Orhan Pamuk (1952–). In the fictive worlds of his novels, he writes the city and inscribes its peculiar in-between position. This paper aims to sketch out tensions between past and present, conservatism and cosmopolitanism, tradition and modernity. Within the theoretical framework of cultural materialism, this paper investigates Pamuk’s Istanbul: Memories of a City (2005), and explores how this tension manifests itself in the architecture of the city. With particular focus on issues of hospitality, cosmopolitanism, and cross-cultural fertilization, I will analyse the textual representation of both the interiors and exteriors of Istanbul, and how they reflect the relationship between self and other. Likewise, museum artefacts bear witness to both the revival and violence of the history of the city from Ottoman times to the present. The analysis will draw on sites of separation as well as those of connection in Pamuk’s depiction of Istanbul’s material culture.

Keywords

Istanbul, cosmopolitanism, cultural materialism, architecture, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novel, cultural memory, literary representation