Geoffrey Fox's Reviews > My Name is Red
My Name is Red
Geoffrey Fox's review
Jun 13, 2017
Who cares who murdered Elegant Effendi? You probably won't and I didn't, but the question obsesses the other miniaturists working for the sultan, Refuge of the World, in 17th century Constantinople. The intrigue all has to do with the incursion of Venetian pictorial techniques perspective, individual and realistic portraiture in an ancient tradition of painting perfect and beautiful representations of idealized figures. The characters address us directly, aware that they have a reader but seemingly unaware that this reader also knows what is in the minds (or at least the stories) of the other characters. Figures from the miniaturists' sketches in a coffee house also speak to us: a hastily drawn dog, a horse, the color red. Some of these little tales are enchanting (the dog especially), though they don't always work together very well to make a coherent total. Besides murder by blunt instruments, mutilations and tortures, the reader also has to endure the obnoxious, self-absorbed and rather stupid Shekure, probable widow of a man missing in action and beloved of the indecisive Black (who is not a color but a painter).
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November 27, 2002 – Finished Reading
June 13, 2017 – Shelved