Orhan Pamuk vs. Virginia Woolf

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Virginia Woolf vs. Orhan Pamuk

Aykut Can TÜRKMEN
Petroleum – Gas University of Ploieşti

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to compare and indicate the affect of “stream of consciousness”. Moreover, I tried to show the (dis)similarities between these two important writers. In this paper, for Orhan Pamuk, I focused on the novel which is called “Sessiz Ev (Silent House)”.

Key words: stream of consciousness, omniscient point of view, third person narration, impact of the time, lives’ reflections and individuality.

The usage of Stream of Consciousness

Stream of consciousness was used by these two writers perfectly. In the novel of Virginia Woolf, “The Waves” and in the novel of Orhan Pamuk, “Sessiz Ev (Silent House)”, there are plenty of examples in these books.

For “Sessiz Ev”, at the beginning of the book a character’s consciousness, called Recep, is transmitted without details and the descriptions by Orhan Pamuk. Pamuk wanted the readers to have fun and to see the consciousness of a person ironically. As in the essay of Virginia Woolf “Modern Fiction” she describes life as an incessant shower of innumerable atoms and also she indicates that a modern writer must record the atoms as they fall upon the mind in which they fall. This thought helps us to explain stream of consciousness. Pamuk shared the same idea with Woolf. Pamuk preferred to give an impression to the reader rather than summarizing what the character see, think and do or reporting from the outside in clear sentences like Virginia Woolf.

In “The Waves”, Woolf is trying to give a more realistic picture of psychology than had ever before been presented in fiction. She was the most important writer for the fiction and for the stream of consciousness. Stream of consciousness is the most important technique was used by Woolf to approach her works such as The Waves.

The Impact of the Lives & Time in the novels

The novels are the reflections of the writers’ lives mostly. For these two novels, Sessiz Ev and The Waves, I can say that Woolf and Pamuk wrote their own lives but fiction. Pamuk said that he had written his own life and the characters were his steps on the life. Woolf also reflected her life to her novel, The Waves. She also wrote her experiences with the help of her own characters in the book.

While “The Waves” was taking place in one day and the all steps of one day, “Sessiz Ev” took place in one week. This means that Pamuk used the time undetailed but Woolf used the time so detailed. Woolf used the time like a life and each step of the day is the part of a life. For example, the beginning of the novel is early morning and this time of the day represents the childhood. But Pamuk doesn’t do this he prefers to use the time long.

Pamuk uses the time with the clock but Woolf doesn’t use the time as it is. In “Sessiz Ev” there is many examples like “It’s ten to eleven”, “It’s nine” and “It’s five past nine”. In “The Waves”, Woolf doesn’t do as Pamuk does. She prefers to say the time by descriptions rather than saying the time directly. Woolf describes nature at the beginning of each part of the book. They are called as interludes. These interludes help the reader to understand the time and the step of the day and life. She uses the words to say the time like: “sunrise”, “noon”, “evening”, “night” and “midnight”.

The individuality is another most important point for Woolf. Woolf uses “individual” peculiarly in The Waves. Rhoda claims to “hate all details of the individual life” and later says, “I must go through the antics of the individual. I must start when you pluck at me with your children, your poems, your chilblains or whatever it is you do and suffer. But I’m not deluded.” She showed us her thought about individuality with these sentences. She uses the word “individuality” to signify the mundane and trivial concerns of life rather than originality.

Woolf...
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