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White Castle (90 Edition)


White Castle (90 Edition) Cover

ISBN13: 9780375701610
ISBN10: 0375701613
Condition: Student Owned
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Publisher Comments:

From a Turkish writer who has been compared with Borges, Nabokov, and DeLillo comes a dazzling novel that is at once a captivating work of historical fiction and a sinuous treatise on the enigma of identity and the relations between East and West. In the 17th century, a young Italian scholar sailing from Venice to Naples is taken prisoner and delivered to Constantinople. There he falls into the custody of a scholar known as Hoja--"master"--a man who is his exact double. In the years that follow, the slave instructs his master in Western science and technology, from medicine to pyrotechnics. But Hoja wants to know more: why he and his captive are the persons they are and whether, given knowledge of each other's most intimate secrets, they could actually exchange identities. Set in a world of magnificent scholarship and terrifying savagery, The White Castle is a colorful and intricately patterned triumph of the imagination. Translated from the Turkish by Victoria Holbrook.


Orhan Pamuk proffers a dazzling work of historical and philosophical fiction, set amid the scholarship and savagery of 17th-century Constantinople. When a young Italian scholar is taken prisoner, he becomes the slave and tutor of a Turkish scholar who is his exact double. THE WHITE CASTLE is a triumph of the imagination, as colorful and intricately patterned as a Turkish prayer rug.

About the Author

Orhan Pamuk is the author of seven novels and the recipient of major Turkish and international literary awards. He is one of Europe's most prominent novelists, and his work has been translated into twenty-six languages. He lives in Istanbul.

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Shoshana, September 14, 2008 (view all comments by Shoshana)
This novel may remind you a little of the Star Trek--The Original Series episode "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" in which two people seen by others as extremely similar to each other see themselves as quite different. While this plot is not the same as the 1966 Star Trek episode's, there are some similarities. The Italian narrator describes being captured at sea, thrown into a Turkish jail, and eventually winning the favor of a powerful patron (though as a slave). He spends much time with the mysterious Hoja, who looks shockingly like him. Much of the novel describes their reciprocal psychological torments and raises questions about identity, history, and stories, both individually and at a cultural level. The plot is not particularly standard, and the symbolism is a little heavy. The frame story that introduces the "manuscript" seems like it ought to be more than a literary device, but that is my only clue as to how it should be understood. Still, this was an interesting novel and I'd read another by Pamuk.
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ssaundersnorfolk, November 24, 2007 (view all comments by ssaundersnorfolk)
Through the protagonist’s ever-changing perception of the relationship between Hoja and himself, Pamuk captured the essence of all long-term, co-dependent, one-to-one relationships. Whether pertaining to siblings, spouses, roommates, parents-and-children, or co-workers, there exists a constant jockeying for position of dominance and quest for maintaining self-identification, all while harboring a desire to reap the benefits of comradeship and to sustain a sense of belonging.

In terms of the “story-telling” in White Castle, Orhan Pamuk utilized many tools of the trade and blended them successfully to invite his readers not as observers who peer in from one vantage point, but as attendees who can move among the setting, characters, and plot and therefore better identify with the story. Pamuk details each setting and includes material symbolism throughout his novel to give the reader both the physical space and familiarity to navigate within the story. His first person narrative constantly weaves the reader through the protagonist’s alternating thoughts which include supposition, vulnerability, determination, impatience, self-reflection, self-discovery, and self-denial. The unhurried pace of thought and frustration that the author gives his protagonist allows the reader to experience and appreciate the tedium of this captivity that is plagued with psychological neglect, abuse, and indifference.
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Product Details

Holbrook, Victoria
Holbrook, Victoria
New York :
Historical - General
Historical fiction
Literature-A to Z
fiction;turkey;novel;turkish;historical fiction;nobel;turkish literature;literature;istanbul;20th century;nobel prize;historical;identity;history;contemporary;postmodern;contemporary fiction;slavery;middle east;fantasy
fiction;turkey;novel;turkish;historical fiction;literature;nobel;istanbul;20th century;turkish literature;identity;nobel prize;historical;history;slavery;fantasy;postmodern;contemporary;middle east
Edition Number:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Vintage International
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.12 x .47 in .375 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Nobel Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
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White Castle (90 Edition) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 176 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375701610 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Orhan Pamuk proffers a dazzling work of historical and philosophical fiction, set amid the scholarship and savagery of 17th-century Constantinople. When a young Italian scholar is taken prisoner, he becomes the slave and tutor of a Turkish scholar who is his exact double. THE WHITE CASTLE is a triumph of the imagination, as colorful and intricately patterned as a Turkish prayer rug.
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