Document Type : Research article


Assistant Professor, English Language Department, Faculty of Humanities, University of Zanjan, Zanjan, Iran.


This article applies Joseph Campbell’s mythological perspective to discuss Black’s character as a redeemer in Orhan Pamuk’s My Name Is Red (2002). This is done through discussing him as a lover whose dialogic interaction with the outside world helps him restore peace and order in an exemplary multicultural Ottoman society of the sixteenth century that is suffering gradual disappearance under the pressure of monologic strategies of communication. The strategies include Eastern and Western traditions of painting and a religious anti-painting one which refutes the other two as blasphemous. This investigation challenges the dominant reviews of MNR as a pessimistic political allegory that regrets the disappearance of traditional Turkish cultural identity, and argues that MNR develops an optimistic stand toward cultural formation through detailing Black’s practice of self-understanding and adaptability. Highlighting the notion of life-and-death struggle, this article introduces Black as a reviver whose success is signified through his marital reunion.


  1. Ali, B., & Hagood, C. (2012). Heteroglossic sprees and murderous viewpoints in Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red. Texas Studies in Literature and Language, 54(4), 505-529.
  2. Arjomandi, N., & Faghfori, S. (2015). Shekure’s room for her own: A feminist reading of Orhan Pamuk’s My Name is Red. Fe Dergi: Feminist Eleştiri, 7(1), 107-116.
  3. Campbell, J. (2004). The hero with a thousand faces. Princeton University Press.
  4. Çetintaş, B. M. (2006). Defying expectations: Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy and Orhan Pamuk’s The Black Book and My Name is Red. Journal of Arts and Sciences, 6, 51-61.
  5. Çiçekoglu, F. (2003a). A pedagogy of two ways of seeing: A confrontation of “word and image” in My Name is Red. The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 37(3), 1-20.
  6.  Çiçekoglu, F. (2003b). Difference, visual narration, and “point of view” in My Name is Red. The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 37(4), 124-137.
  7. Farred, G. (2007). To dig a well with a needle: Orhan Pamuk’s poem of comparative globalization. The Global South 1(2), 81-99.
  8. Göknar, E. (2004). My name is Re(a)d: Authoring translation, translating authority. Translation Review, 68(1), 52-60.
  9. Göknar, E. (2006). Orhan Pamuk and the “Ottoman” theme. World Literature Today, 80(6), 34-38.
  10. Göknar, E. (2012). Secular blasphemies: Orhan Pamuk and the Turkish novel. Novel: A Forum on Fiction, 45(2), 301-326.  
  11. Kim, S. (2009). My Name is Red: A miniaturist's novel. In N. Anadolu-Okur (Ed.), Essays interpreting the writings of novelist Orhan Pamuk: The Turkish winner of the Nobel Prize in literature (pp. 53- 65). Edwin Mellen Press.
  12. Pamuk, O. (2002). My Name is Red. (M. G. Erdağ, Trans.). Vintage International.