In a writing class where he masterfully uses the endless resources of the novel genre, Orhan Pamuk constructs an exciting epic story that mixes murder, the desire for freedom, love or heroic acts to tell us the reality of an empire’s suffering. With the emergence of a small new nation among the Ottoman Empire and its remnants, and all this with the background scenario of a deadly plague epidemic whose aggravation accelerated the fall of some and the rise of others.
The story becomes heroic and epic from the moment Orhan Pamuk rightly tells us that more than just a serious epidemic, the heroes of that story are fighting to keep their ideals and tested love alive.
Plague Nights is also a portrait of a very recent reality, a glimpse into the past and draws inevitable parallels to the present because it tells a quarantine story that, despite being a fictional novel, is very familiar to us. The pandemic problems we have been experiencing around the world recently; thousands of deaths, the fact that quarantine is not implemented in real terms despite the continuous increase in the number of patients, people’s reluctance to take the necessary precautions, the “nothing will happen to me” mood, the outburst. medical services, economic problems caused by quarantine, as well as psychological ones, fear of death, fatalism or anger towards leaders.
Plague Nights is also a political and historical novel in which the clash of different cultures, fear of death, love and traditions are examined in a small geography where Eastern and Western cultures coexist. All of Pamuk’s novels revolve around the relationship between an East strongly rooted in tradition but increasingly forgotten, and a hard-to-stop West’s thrust.
Plague Nights takes us back to the early 20th century, 1901, and the small imaginary island of Minguer, the “pearl of the Mediterranean”, located in the far north east of the island of Crete and in the south of the Mediterranean. Rhodes island, Great Caliph of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan II. During the reign of Abdulhamid. Its capital, Arkaz, and other towns are half Muslim, half Greek.
Although neither the governor, Sami Pasha, nor the religious community leaders nor the consuls of foreign powers would like to accept this, everything indicates that a plague epidemic has started on the island. Sultan Abdülhamit sends two people to investigate the case: the prestigious chemist Bonkowski Pasha and the beautiful Pakize Sultan, the nephew of the sultan, and the newly married Dr. Nuri. Pakize Sultan decides to accompany his wife, Doctor Nuri, on his journey to the island. Reconstructing the six dense moons inhabited by the island of Minguer was made possible by the 113 letters he sent daily to Pakize and her older sister, Hatice Sultan. The couple is accompanied by Kamil, a young and old Ottoman military man, who will become the hero and new leader of the island in the coming months as security guards.
The truth is, when the characters arrive on the island, they realize that the seriousness of the situation is much worse than they thought, and that the plague has taken over the island and its inhabitants. First Bonkowski Pasha, then his assistant Dr. The story starts to get complicated with the murder of Ilias.
Imprisonment measures and other prohibitions were dictated, especially those violated by the Muslim population. The result is an increase in the death toll and the arrival of the panic that has devastated the island of Minguer.
Then the figure of Major Kamil, who wanted to lead an independent Minguer movement and started a revolutionary process, and his nationalist ideal emerged.
Acts of love, tragedy and heroism, as well as selfishness and pettiness, will be good for deadly action, especially in the second part of the novel, where Pamuk plunges us into a whirlpool of events in which death plays a special role. or because the gallows is being run in the hands of opposition groups.
The ending retains the epic flavor of great stories. Tragedy is renewed, leading to life, love, and new tragedies.
The wise mix of political and historical elements makes Las noche de la peste a novel with an exciting story in which love undoubtedly plays a singular role. Pamuk creates three symbolic couples in his history. Sami Pasha, the governor of the island, and his secret lover, the widow Marika; Young officer Kamil and Sultan V. husband Doctor Nuri, who fell in love with the beautiful Zeynep, who reciprocated him with full love, were both sent to Minguer island to fight against the plague.
Orhan Pamuk is a man of determination as well as a narrative genius – as demonstrated in over two decades of exceptional production with definitive novels such as The Black Book, New Life, My Name Is Red, or Snow (Snow). He is fighting for freedoms in a country like Turkey which is often shocking and violent. This requires all the courage the military and nationalists show in their struggle against vetoes, impositions and oppression. Defying them cost him death threats, trials, and time in vigilant exile.
With Plague Nights, he had to face the legal demands of the stubborn people who accused him of making fun of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the republic, in the person of Kamil, the main character in the book. Unstable demand.