Beyond East and West: Political melancholy in the works of Orhan Pamuk
This thesis examines Orhan Pamuk's use of melancholy as a political concept. While the Nobel committee argues Pamuk's work is an example of clashing civilizations, this thesis argues Pamuk's novels examine how collective melancholy is the cause of, rather than a symptom of, political conflict. This thesis provides a conceptual analysis of melancholy, reviews the origins and uses of the term in both Western and Islamic literature, and examines how Pamuk reinvented the concept to explain Turkish political culture since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The primary sources include Pamuk's novels, essays, and speeches; medical and philosophical literature on melancholy and Sufi poetry. This thesis will show that Pamuk's reconceptualization of melancholy has political implications globally as well as in Turkey.