Who is the Writer? An Analysis of the Representations of ‘Orhan’ in Orhan Pamuk’s Oeuvre

By Hande Gurses.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Orhan Pamuk, the winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 2006, is a prominent novelist whose work raises questions regarding various crucial issues including identity, memory and the art of the novel itself. Pamuk’s oeuvre contains various metafictional elements that invite the reader to a space where the ‘text’ is constantly being re-written. Within this framework the role of the ‘writer’ is also called into question by the use of different strategies that challenge the singular authentic moment of creation. One such strategy that Pamuk uses in his narratives is the inclusion of ‘Orhan the writer’. The figure of ‘Orhan the writer’ appears in many of his narratives blurring the boundary between the real and the fictional. In this paper I will discuss the outcomes of this strategy raising questions regarding the function of the name as well as the singularity of the signature. Using the writings of Jacques Derrida as my main theoretical framework I will analyze the formation of the identity of the ‘writer’ alongside the ‘text’. Focusing on the different instances where ‘Orhan the writer’ appears in Pamuk’s writings I will explore the various discourses that contribute to the creation of identity.

Keywords: Metafiction, Authorship, Identity, Name-ing, Signature

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 9, pp.35-44. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 756.806KB).

Hande Gurses

PhD Candidate, French Department, University College London, Istanbul, UK

Hande Gurses holds a BA in English Language and Literature (Bogazici University, Istanbul, 2005) and an MA in Cultural Studies (Goldsmiths College, University of London, 2006). She is currently completing her PhD at the French Department, University College London. Drawing on the theoretical background provided by the writings of Jacques Derrida, her study focuses on the role of displacement in the works of Orhan Pamuk. She is interested in the experience of liminality that marks Pamuk’s narratives and explores how it is used as an attempt to forge something new - the self, the story, the text - by displacing old, tired, dichotomies that include East/West, word/image, reality/fiction, original/imitation.

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