Silent House Review

Silent House

silent house

Silent House by Orhan Pamuk
Published by Faber and Faber
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I have started to read Orhan Pamuk around the time I graduated from high school. In a book fair I attended in Istanbul in 2006 (I might be wrong about the year, but some time around those years), I bought my first novel called The White Castle. Being fascinated by Pamuk’s gloomy and dark yet relaxing narration, I continued reading him despite his taboo-like status. Although he has come to have much more acceptance from Turkish public throughout the years, in a scholarship interview in 2013, the committee did not hesitate to take a mocking attitude towards my answer, Orhan Pamuk as one of my favourite Turkish authors. Not being exactly sure of whom the committee were being scornful – perhaps it was both of us – I was surprised to witness the ongoing bias lacking a real literary or academic justification apart from Pamuk’s views on politics and history. In all honesty, I felt disappointed and even more disturbed to observe intolerance even within the scholarly groups approximately seven years after my initial acquaintance with Pamuk’s works.

Perhaps it is one of the reasons that The White Castle still remains to be the only Pamuk novel I read in Turkish. With an awareness of his highly controversial position and due to living abroad, I have been more inclined to read his novels’ English translations. In this way, I have not only felt that I created the free space to read him comfortably but also I have had an easy access to his novels in bookstores abroad. Yet, relying on the English translations, I managed to read his second novel Silent House just a year ago. This novel about a family gathering in the summer foreshadowing the approaching military coup of 1980 was written originally in 1983 and is among my favorite ones. Continue reading