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Pamuk’s Dis-orient: Reassembling Kafka’s Castle in Snow (2002)


This article analyses the circuitous relationships between Franz Kafka’s last novel The Castle and Orhan Pamuk’s 2002 Snow. Though Pamuk’s “political novel” does not mention Kafka’s hero by name, K.’s pursuit of the domain of Count Westwest in The Castle lays the rhetorical groundwork for Pamuk’s narrative about Turkish modernity and political Islam. Snow is designed around a pyramid-like series of imbrications—ranging from Kafka’s “K.” to Pamuk’s hero “Ka” to the novel’s Turkish title “Kar” to the Eastern Turkish city of “Kars”—a poetic Verschachtelung that upends the traditional binary terms “East” and “West.”

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