Post Colonial Criticism Of My Name Is Red
The extent of discovery of the imperial and colonial topos, of the imagined space temperament is dissimilar in the works of different transcultural authors. The works of the transcultural writers negates the corporation of milieu, ethnic culture and time as the fundamental foundation of poetological mechanism typical for validity discourses. The way out of impasse of permanent passage has been looked for, both in the tales by postmodernists passageway. Post-colonial theory is a term of collection of critical and theoretical polices employed to investigate the culture of former European empires, colonies and their links to the rest of the world. While postcolonial theory embraces no particular technique or school, the theories question the salutary impacts of the empire and raises exploitation and racism issues. Key among all, is the stance of the post-colonial or colonial subject. In this regard, post-colonial criticism provides a counter-narrative to the long practice of European imperial narratives. This paper provides criticism of the novel; My Name is Red, by Pamuk, and places it in the context of post-colonial theory. The paper also highlights an intellectual discourse that contains reactions to colonialism cultural legacy. The views and theory of Edward-Said will be highlighted as he is a leading intellectual figure in the 20th Century, and presents a fruitful cultural critique of the modern Western World.
Literary criticism practiced in the modern world comes in four different forms. One of these forms is the practical criticism found in reviewing of books and literary journalism. The second one is academic literary history, which is a descendant of 19th Century specialties as classical, philology, cultural history and scholarship. The third form of literary criticism is primarily academic, but not confined to regularly appearing writes or professionals. The last form of literary theory is the post-colonial theory. In the contemporary world, all literature, art and culture belong to definite classes directed to clear-cut political lines. Art and literature form part of blue-collar revolutionary cause. Orhan Pamuk method of utilizing cultural history in the reformulation of the contemporary literature defines a politics of form. Therefore, My Name is Red writes against the prominent secular discourse of the Ottoman legacy as pre-modern and post-modern. Pamuk tries to recoup an early modern Ottoman Cosmopolitanism, which is cast as a blank space in the course of the obfuscating strategies of the Cultural Revolution through modern creation of secular modern. As a result, Pamuk’s regeneration of sequence of events through Ottoman documentation becomes the foundation for change in literary modernity and a political assessment of secular modernity.
- Orhan Pamuk
Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish novelist, an academic and a screenwriter, was born on June 7, 1952 in Stanbul. Pamuk is one of the highest-flying novelists in Turkey. This is because he sold over 11 million novels in six different languages, an aspect that made him the best seller in Turkey. He grew up in a huge family living in the rich district of Nisantasi. Pamuk devoted his childhood and teenage life in painting and he one time dreamt of becoming an artiste. He studied in the secular American Robert College after which he joined Istanbul Technical University to study architecture for three years. He did not complete his architecture course as he dumped it and joined Istanbul University where he studied Journalism.
When he turned twenty-three years, Pamuk chose to become a novelist and he gave up everything else to do writing. He wrote his earliest novel, Cevdet Bey and His Sons, published in 1982. His first novel talks of a tale of 3 generations of a rich Istanbul family that lives in Nisantasi, his home district. The novel received both the Milliyet and Orhan Kemal literary prizes. Other works following his first novel include, The Silent House, translated in French and published in 1983. Just like his initial nover, The Silent House, also won a prize. His other works include the 1985 White Castle, the 1990 Black Book, the film, the Hidden Face, the 1995 Yeni Hayat, the 1999 Öteki Renkler, and the 1998,My Name is Red.
0.2 Summary of My Name Is Red
My Name is Red (Benim Adım Kırmızı) was originally published 1998 and the initial translation was done in 2001. The book starts with an exceptional establishment through which Orhan Pamuk highlights the motivation that led him to write the novel, the autobiographical components, its literary impacts and the reason why the story is narrated in scores of voices, and from divergent perspectives. The author included an expansive record of his life and a literary context. At the end of the book, he presents an expanded chronological account that juxtaposes history, art, historical events and literature. Pamuk inscribes every chapter of novel in the person’s presented voice. For instance, chapter 1 is written in the voice of the dead Elegant Effendi. The seven characters whose voices tell the story encompass, a corpse, other storytellers include a dog, a gold coin, color red, death and a miniature symbol of a horse. Apart from murder, behavioral taboos and art, the Pamuk highlight love and lust
My Name is Red is a historical work of fiction set in Istanbul in the course of Sultan Murat III reign (1574-95). The book explores the conflicts of identity and cultural memory prompted by Westernization. The novel highlights romance, philosophical puzzles and mystery experienced in sixteenth Century in Istanbul. It also highlights the providence of illuminators and miniaturists whose artistic works started in the course of the Timurid Dynasty between 1370 and 1526. Pamuk translated the book in twenty- four languages, and it won the most profitable literary award, the International Dublin Literary Award, in 2003. The novel highlights Ottoman Sultan Murat III’s reign in 1591.
The book entails a wonderful exploration of the culture of Islam. It invites readers to tension amid West and East from an anxiously critical approach. My Name is Red hold an appended chronology and contains more that 400 hundred pages. Through the novel, Pamuk highlights the constructive capacity and patience of the 19th century fabricators. The book contains 59 chapters narrated from a twelve different perspectives entailing that of the killer. The two slain actors address the reader from the next world, and the reader even get treated at the final part of the highest chapter to the attitude of a cut off head whose brain and eyes persistently function in a miserable fashion. The reader takes part with revulsion, through the need that the highest Persian miniatures master, Heart, shaded himself with.
The story occurs at the miniature’s paintings demise cusp. It opens with killing of elegant Effendi, “”I am nothing but a corpse now, a body at the bottom of a well…I was happy; I know now that I’d been happy. I made the best illuminations in Our Sultan’s workshop….” (Pamuk 5). A colleague in the art world kills Elegant. Elegant and 3 other miniaturists were secretly working on a book that was initiated by Murat III. In the novel, both blasphemous and radical, were to entail Sultan’s portrait.
Pamuk creatively weaves a story of art, mystery, murder and love via manifold storyline character voices. The story is set in Ottoman Empire situated in Istanbul in the course of 1500s. The tale develops through the killing of a miniaturist, Elegant Effendi. Enishte Effendi specially made Elegant to assist him paint a document highlighting Sultan’s reign. While the master visual artist searches for the murderer of Elegant, a story of romance opens up. Enishte Effendi’s nephew arrives from abroad and he instantaneously resumes his love for Shekure, his cousin. She, nevertheless, had already been married and separated with two children, and his husband left for war. Enishte Effendi’s nephew used a letter carrier named Esther to assist him win the love of Shekure via romantic propositions and words. In the meantime, Black Effendi helped his uncle to explore who killed Elegant besides helping him complete the document in absence of Elegant.
Black visits the places of the three miniaturists employed by Osman and who had been assisting Enishte Effendi with the text of Sultans. The three miniaturists who were assisting Enishte Effendi were nicknamed Olive, Stork and Butterfly. They divulged tales to Enishte’s nephew that outlined the tension amid the conventional artistic method of flat, mimetic representation and the novel Venetian approach of difference and dimension. The most questionable aspect included the conflict amid the novel and old, East and West conflict and the personal approach. While Black tries to disclose any top secret that, the three miniaturists have, he attempts to Pursue Shekure. Nevertheless, Shekure realizes that she needs to protect her stance and get hold of the best status for her sons and herself. Her husband’s parents are indisposed to release her and Hassan, her brother-in-law too does not want her to go. While Shekure wants to stay in her in-laws home, she eventually gives in to Black’s proceeds and creates a plan to split-up with her husband.
Eventually, Shekure and Black Effendi get married in quick wedding ceremony. As the story unfolds, Enishte Effendi almost finds out who killed Elegant before a person who pays him a visit in his home is kills. Following the murder of Enishte Effendi, Sultan calls for a detailed investigation and he threatens to torture the miniaturists if the killer never surfaces. In an astonishing turn of occurrences, the killer is disclosed, an aspect that questions the temperament of inventive style and its links to the celestial.
1.0 Literature Review
According to Bugeja, an author, my Name is Red brings in a discrete Mashridi cultural and historical milieu to establish itself to a European readership from when the records of Tabriz and Isfahab are alien or esosteric (Bugeja 195). Pamuk Memoir Istanbul serves a different purpose. He actively prioritizes the cultural schemata that would bring on his European readerships’ natural and immediate identification with the subject matter of his personal memories. Orhan attains this description via a comprehensive and historicized analysis of Meling’s lithographs of the metropolis, and Gautier’s and Flaubert’s highly intimate incidents of Istanbul that would be familiar to his German, Austrian and French reader.
In his novel, Pamuk does not exocitize the city but he represents it as a space that is always already confidentially present within the European reader’s gear of culture. His memoir looks for a very highly interactive and direct engagement with the readers as himself is a kind of flaneur investigating the memoirist’s own cultural landscape. Pamuk secures the sufficient transference of his vision, and as a result, through playing upon the reader’s cultural preconditioning, situating the space he focuses on across the paths of European literary-cultural canonicity (Bugeja 195). By situating himself in the propinquity to Flaubert and Gautier, Orhan self-consciously attempts to rise above the cultural politics engaged in locating the origin of Istanbul’s modernity. He identifies himself with Harold Bloom’s idea that political positions hold little effect in the distinctively intimate family romance of the major writers influenced by one another without putting into consideration political differences and similarities. Pamuk used chronicle form as a link to some kind of Western canonicity. By using chronicle form, he fraught question that warrants comprehensive study, particularly in view of the chronicle as a distinctly writing medium. Through this medium, he admits to a particular Blanchot-esque rhetoricity regarding the temperament of literary relations and literature (Bugeja 195).
1.1 Postcolonial Theory
Post-colonial theory refers to a post-modern rational discourse that encompasses the response to colonialism cultural legacy as well as the evaluation of the colonialism cultural legacy. Post colonialism holds different theories present among film, human geography, feminism, sociology, political science, philosophy, and literature, theological and religious studies (Ashcroft 89). Post-colonialism aims at preventing lasting impacts of colonialism on different cultures. It functions to recoup past worlds and entails the strategies needed for the world to move past the effects of colonialism and attain mutual respect.
Edward W.Said is among the most prominent intellectual figures of the twentieth Century. Post-colonial theory grew in essence, from the work of the colonial discourse theorist Edward Said, specifically in his books Orientalism, Culture and Imperialism. Edward Said evaluated the means in which Europe represented scores of the cultures in the 19th Century, which the continent met via imperil expansion. Said asserted that the Western World offered these other cultures as an “Other” to a Western custom. For instance, scholars and travelers represented these other cultures as the divergent British culture and as a negatively divergent culture. According to Said, other people apart from the British got identified as degenerate, lazy, uncivilized and barbaric.
Post-colonial theory has grown in the last 10 years by both building on Said’s work and responding to some of its globalizing tendencies. Post-colonial theory is concerned with theorizing and analyzing the lasting effect of the 19th Century European colonialism in countries such Africa and India which were under colonial rule and countries such as France and Britain which were the colonies. Post-colonial theorists maintain that there were assortments of dissimilar imperial and colonial links during the nineteenth Century, which hold serious effect on the manner in which different cultures viewed themselves. As a result, the present-day-legacy of imperialism is the basic focus of post-colonial theory. While post-colonial theory covers broad theoretical concerns, it greatly focuses not only on analysis of political and economic structures, but also on the evaluation of the growth of certain structures of behavior and mode of thinking.
1.2 Edward W. Said and His Theory
1.2.1 Edward W. Said and His “Culture and Imperialism”
Edward Said, a political commentator, a cultural and literary theorist illustrated the usual paradoxical temperament of identity in a considerable globalised and itinerant world. Said is a person placed in a tangle of theoretical and cultural contradictions; contradictions amid political concern of his Palestinian and Westernized persona. The close link between identity of Said and his cultural theories demonstrates something regarding the convolution and constructedness of intellectual identity. Edward Said (1935-2003) is one of the widely recognized and controversial intellectuals in the world. He was a breed of academic critic who also took the role of vocal public intellectual who placed the plight of Palestine before a world audience. His effect on developing school of post-colonial studies made it to be soundly vindicated as the cultural and political functions of literary writing that has been re-confirmed.
Edward Said was a Palestinian and an Arab of cultural identity itself. He was also a Christian Palestinian, certainly making him an intellectual who was the most important critic of the modern Western demonization of Islam. The paradox of Said’s identity is the most theoretical aspect of his own worldliness, an aspect that offers a key to the convictions and interests of his cultural theory. Edward Said believed that in the beginning all theoretical and cultural movements held scores of starting points as opposed to a single origin. His orientalism is closely awarded the condition of an influential text. According to Said, the Western world formed an Orient as an aspect of investigation via divergent disciplinary, administrative and cognitive practice.
Cultural imperialism refers to the cultural features of imperialism. Imperialism on the other hand, refers to the maintenance and formation of unequal links among civilizations supporting the strongest civilization. Imperialism is utilized in an uncomplimentary sense usually calling for rejection of favoring strong civilization. Cultural imperialism take different forms among them military action, a formal strategy to strengthen cultural supremacy. Edward Said highlights cultural imperialism in his Orientalism book where he evaluates enlightenment. In his Orientalism book, Edwards evaluates Western acquaintance concerning Western formation of the East. The acquaintance prompts an affinity concerning a binary rejection of the Occident verses the Orient where description of one is in rejection of the other. According to Said, imperialism holds a cultural birthright in earlier colonized civilizations. Moreover, he ascertains that cultural imperialism legacy is very dominant in worldwide power systems. Cultural imperialism in the modern world refers to the compelled acculturation of a given population or intentional embracement of a certain foreign culture by people without compulsion but out free will.
Edward Said asserts that culture and imperialism starts from the understanding that institutional, economic and political functions of imperialism are nothing in the absence of the culture that upholds them (Ashcroft & Ahluwalia 82). Culture and imperialism centers on how strong an ideology functions, both unconsciously and consciously, to create and uphold a domination system that rises above military force. Through considering tales of colonized countries written or told by Westerners, Edward assesses the images, symbols and language to demonstrate how their influential as opposed to communicative nature functioned to model the imagination, identity, history, subjectivities, interactions and culture of the oppressed and the oppressor.
Edward contends that oppression have modeled how the Western world unenthusiastically conceptualized other nations. From the growth of empire and worldwide strive for homegrown freedom, Edward credibly discloses the separatist temperament of nationalism besides trying to elucidate the prospects of the worldwide community. The insights, outlook and critique in culture and imperialism are evident in America and other powerful nations where Western cultural values and nationalism are woven into the opinionated expression and public edification where conventional learners are instructed on how to celebrate the distinctiveness of the culture while taking advantage of minority culture. According to Said, cultural imperialism shows that the Western countries control all aspects of the world, an aspect that makes these nations hold a strong effect on the 3rd World cultures through enforcing their Western views thereby damaging the native cultures of the third world countries.
Edward questions the construction, adherence and acceptance of beliefs and ideologies. Colonialism and imperialism are intrinsically bound up through philosophical and ideological concepts regarding moral and cultural superiority (Said 184). Said confirms that it is deceiving to pay no attention to the more basic beliefs that makes a cultural group or a nation feel defensible in taking over other groups, culture or people. Said centers on the participation of culture and the way of describing people, their customs and the spread of their beliefs and values. His concepts regarding an invented or imagined practice are impressive. He utilizes a proportional literary theory as a device for evaluation. He further ascertains that people are not liberated from thrash about geography (Said 183). The struggle remains to be intricate and attention grabbing as it regards forms, imaginings, images and ideas. According to Said, geography is a subjective political boundary and must entail cartography of ideas to discovery blueprints that instigated the minds of colonizing and occupied imagination territories. As occupation blueprints deepen because of the current abundance of the mass media, it becomes natural for a given culture to fight to protect its particularity.
The term cultural imperialism does not hold a particularly long history. It appears to have surfaced along with scores of other terms of radical criticism in early 1960s (Said 183). It has endured to become a part of the general rational prevalence of the second half of the 20th Century. Cultural imperialism is a generic ideal and refers to an assortment of generally similar phenomena. According to Tomlinson, a writer, cultural imperialism is one, which should be assembled out of its discourse (Tomlinson 3). The role of culture in maintaining imperialism cannot be overestimated because it is through culture that the statement of the divine right of colonial powers to rule is authoritatively and vigorously recognized. The struggle of domination is hidden and systematic, and there is an interminable interaction amid nations, regions, classes and power centers looking to dominate and displace one another. However, what makes the struggle more than a random tight battle is that values’ struggle is entailed. What tells the differences between the contemporary European empires from the Spanish or Roman or Arab with reference to said, is the constant reinvestment of their systematic enterprises. They do not go into a nation, loot it and leave. What maintains them is the lack of a simple greed nut Post Colonial Criticism
Chapter 2: Culture
The development of postcolonial theory mostly informs Post colonialism in relation to the study of religion. Postcolonial theory is diverse in its content and methodological approach. The basis of the vast content is availability of a wide range of literary works that primarily attempt to dissect post colonialism in connection to the study of religion. Scholars have further initiated different methods or methodological approaches to enhance understanding of the effect of religion in the postcolonial era (Bloom & Sheila 2009). Religion played a critical part by bringing together individuals from different socio, economic, and cultural backgrounds. The major concern among religious leaders and believers is identification of the colonialist construction of knowledge that Edward Said commonly referred to as orientalism. The body of knowledge used by the colonialists was critical in justifying and maintaining the subordination of colonized groups. Despite the growth of religious beliefs and doctrines across all religious denominations and groups, a number of practices of the postcolonial era featured prominently with many people supporting and shunning religious doctrines and values in equal measure (Bloom & Sheila 2009).
The postcolonial theory has categorically challenged the colonialist assumptions of regarding religion as rooted in Judeo-Christian. This has given rise to new understanding of religious responses to the Empire. Most postcolonial theorists have evaluated the effect of these formulations as far as religious ideologies and institutions are concerned. Categories such as religion and sacred have particularly been of great concern including the process of identifying responses of the colonial rule in the form of nationalism. Of a greater challenge has a largely been the democratic society because different restrictions or boundaries that previously governed religion in the post colonialism (Bloom & Sheila 2009). Democratic societies tend to allow religious groups and denominations to exercise their rights fully even when some of their newfound practices go against the ethics and moral benchmarks of the society. In particular, many theorists are greatly concerned about the impending repercussions when societies fully exercise their democratic rights. Such developments amid process to make the society and religious institutions become more liberal and dynamic, justify why religious freedom is far from reality. Post colonialism is essentially a period that comes after the end of colonialism. To understand the events and challenges that ensued during this period, it is important that theorists acknowledge the fact that it marked the end of one era before ushering in a different era or period (Bloom & Sheila 2009).
The end of particular period and the process of ushering in another might be a difficult development, which in many cases could go beyond logical grasp. However, the process of segregating societies using their religious, cultural, or even political entities has overshadowed the postcolonial epoch. However, the ultimate goal of post colonialism, which is to combat the residual effects of colonialism on cultures, has never changed. Similarly, religious groups have braved the controversies surrounding their doctrine and stood firm in their quest to accomplish social and religious tranquility. Different societies have no option but to embrace the emerging trends that characterized religious groups in the wake of post colonialism. As part of societal cultures, religion plays important part to ensure cohesion and harmony among diverse communities and groups. This, religion would seek to achieve, despite a clear ideological, cultural, and political differences between societies. All religious groups and denominations have made commendable steps toward realizing their fundamental ambitions and goals to bring people from diverse backgrounds together. During the transition period from the colonial era to liberal and democratic age, different societies have experienced assorted challenges. Such challenges emanate because of either internal or external factors. Religions have the mandate to protect their reputation as well as reputation of the believers. Hence, most of these religious groups would avoid sideshows at all cost (Sheila 2006).
2. 1 Culture of Religion
According to Kalman, culture is the way people live. He further asserts that culture refers to the arts and expressions of people’s commonsensical accomplishments viewed collectively (Kalman 4). Culture is the traits of a given group of individuals, described by language, arts, music, cuisine, religion and social habits and conceptualized in terms of understandings and meanings. It is the means of life of a given group of individuals or a society and it entails blueprints of beliefs, thoughts, customs, rituals, traditions, language, behaviors literature, music and art. It is the shared blueprints of feeling, adaptation and beliefs, which individuals carry in their brainpower. It is a well thought-out group of habits, concepts conditioned reaction shared by different people in a given society. Religion just like culture contains systematic values, behaviors, beliefs attained by individuals as member of certain society. The blueprints are systematic given that their expressions are habitual in expression and occurrences shared by a group’s member. However, within all religions, there lacks homogeneity and as result, there are disparities of meanings and principals interpretations. From an anthropological approach, religion refers to beliefs systems in supernatural forces where rituals and symbols make life evocative.
2.1.1 Culture of Religion
Religious people can be cosmopolitan in the casual sense of term and in the more robust ethical view that they are devoted in enhancing dignity, human rights and emancipatory politics past their faith communities. In this regard, cosmopolitan who refers to being familiar and at ease with divergent cultures and religion are compatible. International celebrities, the precepts of a given religion and the ever-rising transnational faith communities are principal vector of engagement with the world beyond their nations. However, cosmopolitanisms countersigned by certain faiths are complete ways of supporting for a religion’s putative universality as opposed to an endeavor to support substantive involvement with religious disparities.
Christianity can logically affirm that it has been a broad-based faith since the reign of Apostle Paul and his preaching to non-Jews about Christian universalism. Apostle Paul in his preaching claimed that their people were no longer female and male, free or slaves but were one body in Christ Jesus (Neuman 144). According to Neuman, Appiah, an author, identifies radical globalized religious movements as definitive paradigms of counter-cosmopolitanism. Appiah used counter-cosmopolitanism to denote both technophilic and transnational temperament of radical globalized religious movements, and to stress their adherence to universal truth visions that antithetical to robust pluralism he celebrates (Neuman 144).
With respect to Pamuk’s novel, the most significant limits of the contemporary world system are not political or territorial but religious. Any cosmopolitanism area must provide a model of universalism and inclusivity that both reckons and recognizes with the substantive disparities that isolate different secular and religious experience. Religion is mechanism of representations, which introduce pervasive, powerful and enduring motivations in human beings through formulation of ideas of a common order of existence. Symbols can be objects, pictures, events, actions, relationships or any other thing that conveys meanings to people. Religious representations conduct a different function and they influence human beings that there is a straight link amid their ethos and their worldview. Religious symbols inform people regarding their ways of life and how to live in a particular way given that the world is one of the certain ways..
Pamuk reflects the tension between the profane and the sacred in the illusion to two texts that are identified as being beyond depiction, that is the sacred word from Quran and the secular text of the novel. The literary text is therefore conflated with a consecrated one. To strengthen the creative aspect of the secular-centered form, Orhan delineates an absent text (the secret book commissioned by Sultan) in the plot that in turn becomes the drive of the formal experimentation. My Name is Red entwines modern and pre-modern, sacred and secular, and text and image. Pamuk conceives the absent text as a narrative space with potential change in literary modernity that is both structural aspect and plot element of the novel. Pamuk challenges the republican assurance that Ottoman is merely a signifier for the pre-modern through revising the criticized Ottoman cultural perspective as being an early modern cosmopolitan one.
In the novel, My Name is Red, Pamuk depicts Islam as a culture, but foreign to the novel. However the novel while depicting Islamic culture is a background and an entertaining collection of fragments. The novel is the greatest invention of the Western culture. However, the author goes further to examine the known Islamic distrust of the European liberal arts. This is evidenced by the first objections of Italian portrait painters by Ottoman. According to Almond, Islam often view Pamuk’s work as the antithesis of innovative self-expression (Almond 127).My Name is Red is narrated against the milieu of historical and cultural Islam
2.2 Culture of Arts
Art is linked to all aspects of human life. Art is something that human beings do in numerous and great ways for great reasons. The more one learns regarding a background of any piece of art, the more it appears linked to the entire meaning of life of people who formed and utilized it. This makes artwork more interesting, alive and more pleasing. The study of art as an anthropological study requires considering art as a factor of culture and using the theories and techniques that anthropologists use to study other aspects of culture. Culture in the anthropological sense means more than the arts. People understand cultures as the sum of all shared and learned behavior of people, how they make their living, produce things, utilize language and other symbolic forms and organize their societies.
Culture is the characteristically human means of survival. Every society holds a more or less consistent way of life otherwise known as culture. Art historians and anthropologists are currently going into the field to understand how artists form art and utilize it in different cultures. These people come back with records of the arts thereby enriching the comprehension of people through published works and other types of exhibits. From this perspective, artists make art and utilize it in social situations where some of these situations are exciting and lively. There are close links between forms of art and almost all other factors of human life.
In the novel My Name Is Red, the Ottoman cultural chronicles is a foundation of literary reimagination that becomes commentary on the modern world. To stress on this synchronic aspect, the novel by Pamuk uses two narrative devices. In one of these devices, Pamuk makes his 16th Century characters conscious of the present-day-read or observer while, on the other hand, he situates modern autobiographical component into the historical novel. For instance, the self-description of Shekure, named after Pamuk real mother, early in the book, “ with one eye on the life within the book and one eye on the life outside, I, too, long to speak with you who are observing me from who knows which distant time and place” (Pamuk 43). The story is told by numerous first-person narrators who are conscious of themselves as well as the observer or the reader. The literary inversion of modern and pre-modern period offers a synchronic impact that confirms the revaluation of secular values.
Pamuk’s literary reimaging of the Ottoman legacy is founded on the novels set in the premature modern cosmopolitan Istanbul contexts that highlight the procedure of textual production. The types of cultural history emanating from the Ottoman archive become a commentary on the foundation of reconfiguring literary modernity and assessing of the secular modern. In the novel, My Name is Red; Orhan novelization of miniature elucidation changes this pictorial medium into an intertextual model of literary form. The novel form its roots on combined genres that include mystic romance, autobiography, murder-mystery, allegories of the contemporary Middle Eastern nation-state, Quaranic-style parables and philosophy of Islamic image and text. The conflation of image and text runs in the novel where subject matters such as time, style and signature reappear as the representational perspective fluctuates amid the profane first-person and the sacred omniscience of the divine
. Chapter 3: Historical Chronology
The chronology covers places and events that were either significant in the history of Islamic art or in the legends and folktales. The Islamic art describes the art created specifically in the service of the Muslim faith and also the art and architecture historically produced in the lands ruled by the Muslims. Apart from Muslims themselves producing the Islamic art, selected Muslim artists also contributed to manufacturing such arts mainly produced by Muslim patrons. The goal of post-colonial theorists is to clear space for multiple voices. Dominant ideologies had previously silenced the multiple voices. The theorists intended to give every individual, scholars and non-scholars, the opportunity a place and opportunity to air their voice without discrimination. The changing trends that characterize societies especially the cultural and social beliefs and values have overshadowed such efforts. A section of the humanity believes they are better off and at an advantage than others are (Sheila 2006).
Despite the glaring challenges, postcolonial theorists are determined to clear the air to allow every person equal chance to participate irrespective of the sexual orientation, political views, or cultural backgrounds. They attempt to clear the previously silenced voices within the field of academia. The book Orientalism by Edward Said provides a clear and comprehensible picture of the techniques or ways social scientists employ to stem their disregard of those they actually study. Instead, they rely largely on the intellectual superiority of themselves and their peers. Although many scholars are of the opinion that Orientalists disparage views and ideas of those they actually study, the tendency to rely on their own intellectual property as well as those of their peers illustrate their capacity to deliver detailed and comprehensible materials (Sheila 2006).
The Islamic Art is not only a religion but also a way of life. Islamic religion and art brings together Muslims from different parts of the universe that acknowledge and appreciate their religion. Islamic art characterize a range of activities mainly bin the building of mosques and important monuments associated with Islam. Apparently, the cost of making these artifacts would depend on the materials used and the purpose of the art. The religion fostered the development of distinctive culture considering its unique artistic language that features in the art as well as architecture throughout the Muslim world. The lands that Muslims had newly conquered had their own pre-existing artistic traditions. Apparently, artists who worked under Sasanian or Byzantine patronage continued to work in their own indigenous styles. However, they worked mainly satisfy the needs of Muslim patrons. The first Islamic art would rely on the earlier techniques, styles, and forms that reflects the blending of Iranian and classical decorative themes and motifs. The most expensive pieces of art mainly decorated to suit the interests of Muslim leaders (Sheila 2006).
Religious monuments erected under the Umayyad patronage had clearly defined meaning as well as functions. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem shows the amalgam of Byzantine, Sasanian, and Greco-Roman elements. These symbols and artistic materials attempt to demonstrate the fundamental doctrines and beliefs of Muslims. Despite the raging debate as to whether the arts are universally applicable, it is clear that Islamic art have a lot of semblance around the world. The Domes of the Rock of Jerusalem have characteristics that indicate majority of similarities and limited differences. Islamic architecture has gained popularity in the recent past with many temples also exhibiting the design. The Islamic art mainly emerged from Muslim faith and nascent Islamic state. The rampant spread of Islamic culture and beliefs across the globe has been the main reason, which has led to the increase in the number of architectural buildings that exhibit Islamic art. Modern temples and mosques are awash with the ancient art of Muslims. In addition, a number of buildings that believers of Islamic religion have constructed have immensely borrowed ideas of Muslim art. In essence, the dome has features prominently in most of the modern buildings (Bloom, p. 12).
Many scholars considers Umayyad caliphate (661-750) as one of the most formative periods of Islamic art. Despite the challenges that Muslim countries have faced in the past few decades, it is clear that most of the art and architectural designs used in the modern constructions have immensely borrowed their ideas from the ancient practices. The art gives the building an attractive and striking appearance that distinguishes it from the rest of constructions. Different scholars and theorists of the postcolonial era attest to the rampant increase in application of Muslim art in different places across the globe. However, the escalating cases of violence and civil wars pitting Muslim countries mainly in the Middle East have greatly hampered the growth of the architectural designs in countries within the Asian continent and beyond. Classification of Muslim art is also an essential aspect that theorists seek to focus. The class to which given art fall under would primarily depend on factors such as the origin, duration of existence, purpose, or even popularity. Societies have varied opinions about application and relevance of particular form of art. Another method that is widely applicable in the classification of Islamic art is according to dynasty that reigned by the time that particular piece of art was produced. This kind of periodiozation always follows the general precepts of the Muslim history (Bloom, p. 12). Despite the several instances characterized by other unique classifications, Islamic Art has emerged to be one of the most outstanding and dependable form of culture and belief relevant to many societies around the world. The art has also characterized the building and success of a range of dynasties across the universe. Some of the outstanding dynasties include the Umayyad and Abbasid. The two dynasties governed an immense, enormous, and unified Islamic states worldwide. Majority of dynasties are found in the Middle East where the Islamic religion traces its origin before gaining ground in other states and countries worldwide. Some of the regional though equally powerful dynasties include Safavids, Mughals, and Ottomans. These dynasties have thrived in respective periods and areas of location due to the imminent reinforcement, architectural, and Islamic design in general. With the geographic spread and long history, Islamic art and architecture has been subject to a wide range of regional and national styles as well as influences within the various periods of its development (Bloom, p. 12).
Islamic art has been in existence for quite a while and the perception derived from the work of art in the Muslim society describes how much devotion there is in religion. The Islamic art reflects the cultural values that are in existence within the Islamic community. To express how much the Muslims view their spiritual realism art has been in practice for several decades. The history of Islamic arts dates back to around the seventh century when they started with the use of visual arts. At that time, there were people living in areas where inhabitants were under the rule of culturally Islamic individuals (Behrens, p. 26). The range in which the Islamic society extends happens on a rate that one can hardly define the art.
Islamic arts cover wide ranges of land that are different personnel for more than one thousand four hundred years. Islamic art is evident in a diverse aspect in that there are buildings that have the Islamic architectural structure. These buildings design is majorly on the Islamic concept making them stand out from the rest of the building of the present day. Constructions from most ancient times tend to project the Islamic artistic features from the old days. Apart from architecture, other materials project the Islamic art such as textile. Clothing design by the use of Islamic art is something that prospers for quite a while (Bloom, p. 12). Most Muslims’ recognition is through there textile work which posses a unique work of art. Using the Islamic art in there textile is as a way to easily distinguish them from other individuals and embrace there cultural values.
Calligraphies development has been an additional way in which the Islamic art promotion has been taking place in most Muslim societies. There are popular works of art precisely with the Islamic art concept like the panel by a famous artist in the late eighteenth century up to the early nineteenth century by the name Mustafa Rakim. Calligraphies have been commonly in use to print messages from the Quran and create decorations in buildings available in most Islamic communities (Behrens, p. 26). The origin of Islamic art is traceable from a number of sources such as the Romans as well as the Early Christian art. Additional areas that the Islamic art could have originated from include the influence by Sassanian.
The Islamic art is also popular through ceramics used commonly in house decorations such as tiles that have the designs developed through Islamic art. In the present day, there are houses that have tiles that portray the Islamic art and they are apparently becoming pricy. The advantages of having ceramics that have the Islamic art design are that they are applicable to people who are from various cultural backgrounds. There are carpets and rugs that are also promote the use of Islamic art and are marketable through a diverse global perspective. People have developed an irresistible attraction to these materials that have the Islamic art and with time, they are gaining popularity on different regions from around the world (Bloom, p. 12). Glasses are other pieces of material that have the influence of Islamic art and have been on demand. Application of Islamic art on material such as glass and metal has been in existence for several decades promoting the sales of glass materials. Metals have also proved a success in the application of Islamic art since it boosts the sales and demand.
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