My Name is Red

My Name is Red

Elegant is a gilder who, at the time the novel begins, has just been murdered. For 25 years he has worked alongside the three master miniaturists (Olive, Butterfly, and Stork), but they have always remained suspicious of one another. Elegant is more religious than the others, and just before his death he became a follower of a conservative religious leader, the Hoja of Erzurum. At the same time, he is also very greedy; he agreed to do the gilding for Enishte’s book, even though he thought it was blasphemous, because Enishte promised to pay handsomely for it. The search for Elegant’s murderer propels the plot of the book.

Elegant Quotes in My Name is Red

The My Name is Red quotes below are all either spoken by Elegant or refer to Elegant. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of My Name is Red published in 2002.
Chapter 4 Quotes

Nevertheless, being a murderer takes some getting used to. I can't stand being at home, so I head out to the street. I can’t stand my street, so I walk on to another, and then another. As I stare at people's faces, I realize that many of them believe they're innocent because they haven't yet had the opportunity to snuff out a life. It's hard to believe that most men are more moral or better than me simply on account of some minor twist of fate. At most, they wear somewhat stupider expressions because they haven't yet killed, and like all fools, they appear to have good intentions.
After I took care of that pathetic man, wandering the streets of Istanbul for four days was enough to confirm that everyone with a gleam of cleverness in his eye and the shadow of his soul cast across his face was a hidden assassin. Only imbeciles are innocent.

Related Characters: The Murderer (speaker), Elegant
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Elegant Character Timeline in My Name is Red

The timeline below shows where the character Elegant appears in My Name is Red. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: I Am a Corpse
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Elegant Effendi is now a corpse lying in the bottom of the well, but no one... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Elegant is not upset about his death, but he is concerned that people still think he... (full context)
Chapter 4: I Will Be Called a Murderer
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...he could kill someone, and he still hardly believes that he has done it now. Elegant was “like a brother” to him, but the murderer felt he had no choice but... (full context)
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
It was snowing on the night of the murder. The murderer told Elegant that he had been hiding money, and that if Elegant kept everything a secret, he... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
The murderer told Elegant that Enishte asked him to draw a horse from his own imagination, and that it... (full context)
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
The murderer tells Elegant that miniaturists simply follow the instructions of their patrons, but Elegant insists that miniaturists bear... (full context)
Chapter 5: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...and Satan, “because we fear them,” and has asked his team of illustrators, Stork, Olive, Elegant, and Butterfly, to choose their own subjects as well. (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...Enishte sit in silence for a while, before Enishte adds that one of the miniaturists, Elegant, is missing; Enishte fears “they might have done him in.” (full context)
Chapter 6: I Am Orhan
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...Enishte wonders whether new forms of illustration mean new ways of seeing, and reflects about Elegant, who is still only missing but whom Enishte suspects has been murdered. Enishte explains that... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...orders them to remain seated and not to fight. Orhan tells her that Enishte’s gilder (Elegant) has been killed. (full context)
Chapter 9: I, Shekure
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Shekure admits that she was sad to hear of Elegant’s disappearance, but she adds that Elegant was the ugliest of the miniaturists, both in appearance... (full context)
Chapter 11: I Am Called Black
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...depict a single subject such as sex or a battle. Master Osman tells Black that Elegant, one of his most talented miniaturists, has been missing for six days, and that the... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
Black asks who will take over the gilding now Elegant has gone, but Nuri only replies that, God willing, Elegant will return to finish the... (full context)
Chapter 12: I Am Called “Butterfly”
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...some pages from the Book of Festivities. Black then asks Butterfly if he knows where Elegant is, and Butterfly, offended, replies that he doesn’t. Black goes on to ask if Butterfly... (full context)
Chapter 14: I Am Called “Olive”
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...There is another knock at the door, and a handsome young apprentice informs them that Elegant’s body has been found and the funeral will be held that day. (full context)
Chapter 15: I Am Esther
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...pleased to learn about Black’s love-struck state. Esther also notes that everyone is gossiping about Elegant’s murder, and that Elegant’s relatives have promised to avenge his death. Shekure returns to her... (full context)
Chapter 16: I, Shekure
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...her himself. Shekure then goes to see Enishte, who admits that he is distressed by Elegant’s murder. Shekure tells him that she would like to get married as soon as possible... (full context)
Chapter 17: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...the body and is horrified to see the state it’s in. Enishte thinks sadly about Elegant, and heads out through the snow-covered streets to the funeral. At the mosque, Enishte embraces... (full context)
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...procession continues. Butterfly walks over and tells Enishte he knows Olive and Stork are behind Elegant’s death. They knew Butterfly had a bad relationship with Elegant and they believe the blame... (full context)
Chapter 18: I Will Be Called a Murderer
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
As dirt is thrown on Elegant’s grave, the murderer cries out that he wants to die with Elegant, before realizing that... (full context)
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
The murderer knows that if his identity is discovered it will bring peace to Elegant’s soul. He admits that as soon as Elegant joined the Erzurumis he stopped liking him,... (full context)
Chapter 21: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...the illustrations except the last one, which he cannot finish. They discuss the possibility that Elegant was murdered by someone who was jealous of his wealth. As Enishte walks Black out,... (full context)
Chapter 23: I Will Be Called a Murderer
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...is familiar with the punishments that murderers will suffer in Hell, although he adds that Elegant was not a real believer and that he had good reasons for killing Elegant. If... (full context)
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...him to complete the other illustrations. The murderer wonders if this last illustration proves that Elegant’s prejudices were actually well-founded. The murderer passes Enishte’s house and sees Black leaving; he realizes... (full context)
Chapter 28: I Will Be Called a Murderer
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...cannot sleep out of guilt, and that there is a rumor that the miniaturists killed Elegant because he saw the mysterious final illustration and was opposed to it. The murderer is... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...illustration of the book to prove that they are not afraid. The murderer says that Elegant was killed by a miniaturist who knew he was planning to set the Erzurumis on... (full context)
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...smashes it over Enishte’s head. Instead, he tells Enishte that it was he who murdered Elegant. (full context)
Chapter 29: I Am Your Beloved Uncle
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...he will be killed next. He tells the murderer that he’s surprised that he killed Elegant; as artists in an Islamic city, miniaturists have a difficult life, but they normally react... (full context)
Chapter 39: I Am Esther
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...at peace until Enishte’s murderer is captured. Esther goes to visit Kabilye, the widow of Elegant, who has not visited Shekure to express condolences in the wake of Enishte’s death. Kabilye... (full context)
Chapter 42: I Am Called Black
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...Black that Esther visited Kabilye, who gave her the enclosed painting, which was found on Elegant’s dead body. Kalbiye insists that Elegant did not draw the horses on the piece of... (full context)
Chapter 46: I Will Be Called a Murderer
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...was a trap in order to identify the creator of the horse drawings found on Elegant’s body, but he believes there is no flaw or signature in his work that could... (full context)
Chapter 52: I Am Called Black
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...the horses’ nostrils have the same peculiarity as the nostrils in the drawing found on Elegant. Osman asks Black to describe the picture; it is clear he cannot see it properly... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...it was Olive, but adds that he is sure it was not Olive who murdered Elegant. Rather, he believes that Stork is the murderer. He thinks that Elegant must have confessed... (full context)
Chapter 56: I Am Called “Stork”
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
...coffeehouse, and Stork suggests that the proprietor of the coffeehouse conspired with Olive to kill Elegant, and that the Erzurumis murdered Enishte and raided the coffeehouse in revenge. Butterfly and Stork... (full context)
Chapter 58: I Will Be Called a Murderer
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
...everything for the last time, but first Black demands that he explain how he killed Elegant. The murderer explains that he had been heading home from the coffeehouse when Elegant confronted... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
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Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
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Black asks if the murderer killed both Elegant and Enishte; the murderer evades the question, claiming that there was nothing truly blasphemous about... (full context)
Storytelling, Identity, and Perspective Theme Icon
Creation vs. Representation Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Consciousness Theme Icon
Virtue vs. Sin Theme Icon
Love, Desire, and Greed Theme Icon
...that idolatry is in fact what he wants. He admits that he may have murdered Elegant and Enishte in order to create this picture, but that now that it’s done, he... (full context)