A New Historicist Approach to Orhan Pamuk's White Castle Cover Image

A New Historicist Approach to Orhan Pamuk's White Castle
A New Historicist Approach to Orhan Pamuk's White Castle

Author(s): Gökçen Kara
Subject(s): Novel, Turkish Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Kilis 7 Aralık Üniversity
Keywords: White Castle; New Historicism; Alternative History;

Summary/Abstract: New Historicism is a modern critical approach focused on the interpretation of literary and non-literary texts which belong to same historical period. Unlike previous historical criticism which limits itself to basically showing how a literary work reflects its time, New Historicism takes into consideration how the work is affected by the time it was produced. Set in İstanbul in the seventeenth century The White Castle is a historical novel which tells the story of an Ottoman scientist and a Venetian slave. At first glance, the novel seems to describe the relationship between these two people, but a careful examination shows that the novel offers an alternative history. This alternative history is quite different from the usual history, for example, the Sultan is not a powerful person, but rather a person with weaknesses. For example, pashas and Sultan depend on the pseudoscience and illogical dream analysis. In addition, the protagonist in the novel is not a Sultan or a person from the palace. In this context, it seems that the characters of the novel are very different from the characters we are used to reading in traditional historical novels. The novel is quite different from the traditional historical novels in terms of both narrative techniques and the characters.

  • Issue Year: 2021
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 591-601
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: English