ARCHITECTURE AND THE INSCRIPTION OF HISTORY: ORHAN PAMUK’S REPRESENTATION OF ISTANBUL
Free (open access)
117 - 126
SAMAR H. ALJAHDALI
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.
Istanbul, cosmopolitanism, cultural materialism, architecture, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novel, cultural memory, literary representation