“Silent House”

I was immediately unsettled during the early pages of Orhan Pamuk’s “Silent House” (translated by Robert Finn) with the consistent use of the first person – but where the ‘who’ that first person represents changes from chapter to chapter. It’s initially very disorienting!

But once you get used to it – and recognise that in the titles for each chapters, Pamuk is giving you the nod as to who is ‘speaking’ – then it begins to make sense, and work. And it works really well…

The thing that struck me most about “Silent House” is the way that Pamuk manages to get across threat and menace. Is part of that success down to the fragmented first person style, the shifting perspectives it allows him to take? I’m not sure. But it is intriguing how we get a rounded picture of the characters when we hear them through their own eyes, and then immediately see them through others’. We sometimes get dual perspectives on the same situations too – like the memorable broken-down-car-in-the-rain scenario. Very clever. But I guess that’s the sort of thing you’d expect from someone who has won the Nobel Prize for Literature…

I now need to read another of his…


Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: