Orhan Pamuk both writes and draws a pandemic

Orhan Pamuk both writes and draws a pandemic

İhsan Yılmaz
Orhan Pamuk both writes and draws a pandemic

Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk was in the midst of finishing writing a novel he had been working on for years, called “Nights of Plague” (Veba Geceleri), on the plague pandemic that took place in the early 1900’s when the 21st century plague, the coronavirus pandemic, broke out.

Pamuk had written an article for The New York Times earlier, and in an interview with Columbia University, where he gives lessons, he said he was sad that the pandemic had made its way into our streets as he had coincidentally been writing his novel. It had caused him to slow down. But now he is motivated to finish the novel.

Pamuk also said that the visual artist in him wanted to get involved in his literary projects as in the novel “Museum of Innocence” (Masumiyet Müzesi). While doing research for the novel, he examined medical books, drug brochures and illustrations from that period.

Based on all these materials, he made drawings in the notebook while creating the atmosphere of his novel.

Pamuk, who previously published an episode from the novel, shared these drawings for the first time on the university’s website. The drawings of Pamuk, who proved his artistic side with the “Museum of Innocence,” reflect the atmosphere and spirit of the period very well.

In the meantime, an exhibition, featuring a 40-package replica of objects in his Museums of Innocence, was previously set to visit five cities in China. COVID-19 hit that exhibition, too, and it was postponed to a later date.

[HH] Second Pamuk signature in literature

We first met Rüya as the hero of Pamuk’s novel “Black Book” (Kara Kitap), which was published in 1990. The writer had his daughter in 1991 and named her Rüya. He dedicated his novel “My Name is Red” (Benim Adım Kırmızı) to her.

In “Other Colors” (Öteki Renkler), he talked about his daughter’s school path and relationships.

When he received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006, she was the first to congratulate him at the ceremony. Rüya accompanied his father at the dinner of the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf, and made history as the youngest guest sitting at the king’s table.

Years passed, Rüya grew up, finished her education and even married. Now she lives in Istanbul.

Talent passes down generations. I heard that Rüya, like her father, is committed to writing and even has finished her first novel. However, when it comes to the publication of the novel, Pamuk opposed her in order not to have a second novelist whose surname is Pamuk.

I don’t know if Rüya Pamuk wants to publish her novel despite her father’s objection, but if I were a publisher, I would knock on her door immediately.