ABSTRACT

Pamuk’s first two novels have often been excluded from critical consideration of the author’s oeuvre. An English version of the first novel has yet to appear; the second only appeared in 2012, 30 years after being published in Turkish. Since both novels are still not widely available in translation, this chapter performs a mining operation that reveals Pamuk’s rather close historiographic affinity to Turkish secular modernity in his first novel (supported by its social realist form) and a parody of the very same historiography in the second (supported by high modernist techniques). Lack of access to these early novels contributes to misreadings and misunderstandings of Pamuk’s work by international literary critics. The historical realism that Pamuk relied on to create his early fiction

developed from the secular socialist concerns of modernization represented in devlet. Republican literary modernity emerged from, and was prefigured by, the authority of modernization history.3 The discourses of the Republican state presented modernization as diachronic and dialectical progress from faith to reason. Under the “development of secularism” paradigm, historiography became a subgenre of the Republican novel as reflected in the sequential period novels of Halide Edib, Yakup Kadri Karaosmanog˘lu, Peyami Safa, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, Kemal Tâhir, Attila I

. lhan, and others,

which narrated the transition from Empire to Republic as a fraught struggle for national self-determination and secular progress.4 Republican authors have variously supported or subverted this historical frame, at times within the same text.