My Name is Red, book club prep

Ok, tomorrow is the day the book club is meeting– first time attending, though I’ve been getting the emails for more than a year. It’s online, and it is weird to me that it is happening on Easter, but I guess nobody else is religious either.

Still not feeling like I have a handle on capital letter Meaning. It’s about the relationship between art and life, pictures remind Black of Shekure (so art pointing back to reality), but they understand their lives through the kind of big picture mythic identities/priorities of these stories and illustrations.

Art is intended to be supplemental to stories. Art that isn’t illustrating a story is sinful. Art should not be representative, because the individual human is unworthy of that detail. On the other hand, a portrait would have kept Black from forgetting Shekure’s face in his long travels. The desire for a portrait is a desire for immortality, to be remembered centuries later.

Some quotes I highlighted from the book:

1 (Corpse) Enough! Find my body without delay, pray for me and have me buried. Above all, find my murderer! For even if you bury me in the most magnificent of tombs, so long as that wretch remains free, I’ll writhe restlessly in my grave, waiting and infecting you all with faithlessness.
I doubt you’ve fully comprehended this fact.
y Enishte, and his daughter had moved away. This is how I came to learn that father and daughter were the
“Purely for red,”
7. I am called Black: For if a lover’s face survives emblazoned on your heart, the world is still your home.
Painting and happiness. I would like my dear readers who have given close attention to my story and my fate to bear these two things in mind, as they are the genesis of my world.
When I recognized this similarity, oh how I burned with a love such as they describe in those books we so cherish and adore.
had the refinement to realize that looking at the drawing of a tree is more pleasant than looking at a tree; but because
The more expert of the two says to the other: “Painting in the new style demands such talent that if you depicted one of the trees in this forest, a man who looked upon that painting could come here, and if he so desired, correctly select that tree from among the others.” I thank Allah that I, the humble tree before you, have not been drawn with such intent. And not because I fear that if I’d been thus depicted all the dogs in Istanbul would assume I was a real tree and piss on me: I don’t want to be a tree, I want to be its meaning.
Furthermore, if truth be told, money and fame are the inalienable rights of the talented, as in my case, and only inspire us to greater feats.
But when I speak under my workshop name, I’ll never admit to being “a murderer.” Let no one try to associate these two voices, I have no individual style or flaws in artistry to betray my hidden persona. Indeed, I believe that style, or for that matter, anything that serves to distinguish one artist from another, is a flaw—not individual character, as some arrogantly claim.
If I do have style and character, it’s not only hidden in my artwork, but in my crime and in my words as well! Yes, try to discover who I am from the color of my words!
Now, however, I have the sense that evil can be endured, and moreover, that it’s indispensable to an artist. After
days, I drew better, I made use of brighter and bolder colors, and most important, realized that I could conjure up wonders in my imagination. But, this begs the question
If I didn’t exist, however, no one would be able to distinguish a good artist from a bad one, and this would lead to chaos among the miniaturists; they’d all be at each other’s throats. So I haven’t vanished. I’ve entered the purse of the most talented and intelligent of miniaturists and made my way here.
“And it isn’t enough that we be in awe of the authority and money of these men who commission the works, they also want us to know that simply existing in this world is a very special, very mysterious event.
He was frightened because he suddenly understood—and perhaps desired—that Islamic artistry, perfected and securely established by the old masters of Herat, would meet its end on account of the appeal of portraiture. “However, it was as if I too wanted to feel extraordinary, different and unique,”
An illustration that does not complement a story, in the end, will become but a false idol.
What filled my Enishte with fear was the notion of situating at the center of the page—and thereby, the world—something
How beautiful she is, that dark-eyed melancholy girl of mine!
That’s why I sent no response to Black by way of Esther. You know better than I whether my suspicions are justified.
You used to say that in fairy tales everything happens thrice.
that I refrained from lowering myself to match Shekure’s wrath with a response of similar hue, as I often had reacted viciously to other women in similar situations, and 2. that I discovered Shekure’s particular awareness of my travels, proof that she’d thought of me much more than I’d assumed.

28, A great painter does not content himself by affecting us with his masterpieces; ultimately he succeeds in changing the landscape of our minds.

29, They (Europeans) don’t paint the world as seen from the balcony of a minaret, ignoring what they call perspective; they depict what’s seen at street level, or from the inside…

29, Indeed, they paint what they see, whereas we paint what we look at. … Portraits (make one) wnt to believe that you’re different from all others, a unique and special and particular human being. …In the end, our methods will die out, our colors will fade. … Not only our own art, but every singe work made in this world over the years will vanish in fires, be destroyed by worms or be lost out of neglect…

35, the new styles of the frankish masters aren’t blasphemous, quite the opposite, they’re most in keeping with our faith.

43. Olive. When I draw a magnificent horse, I become that magnificent horse

44. Butterfly. When I draw a magnificent horse, I become a great master of old drawing that horse.

45. Stork. When I draw a magnificent horse, I am who I am, nothing more.

Like I said, not feeling a whole lot of clarity. Will revisit tomorrow morning.

The murderer is the Persian, Velijan Effendi (Olive)


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