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Online Book Club December 2020

Hosted by a member of the Cairo Book Group
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Took place 3 weeks 5 days ago
Mon 21 Dec 19:00 - 20:30

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My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

“…I don’t want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning…. I never thought of it before, but I’d be living luminously between two eternities of darkness...”

The historical philosophical thriller is vividly re-imagining past times of 16th century in Istanbul, when painting miniatures was the supreme art, similarly envied and pursued as one’s life purpose.

In the middle of a fiscal and political decadence, the Sultan wishes to commemorate the Hegira (Mohammed's migration from Mecca to Medina) by a series of secretly commissioned miniature paintings which are going to depict the empire using the Western brilliance of painting in perspective, going completely against the old traditional Eastern artistic stylization.

Following the killing of one of the new commissioned miniaturists, the main character Black, an illustrator himself, is charged with discovering the murderer, also an illustrator. The irony is that the murderer betrays himself by a distinctive and detectable artistic style reflected in some drawings left behind.

The book is mingling powerful dual antagonistic themes like Identity-Perspective, Creation-Representation, Life/Death-Consciousness, Virtue-Sin, Love/Desire-Greed and promises thought provoking gems waiting to be discovered.

Happy readings and stay safe :)