The Bactra Review   The White Castle
The Italians of the time --- or at any rate the Tuscans and the Venetians --- had surprisingly sensible ideas on what to do about plague, though it's unclear whether they made much of a difference. These are well-described in Carlo M. Cipolla, Fighting the Plague in Seventeenth-Century Italy (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1981) and idem, Faith, Reason, and the Plague in Seventeenth-Century Tuscany (trans. by Muriel Kittel; NY: W. W. Norton & Co., 1981; as Chi ruppe i rastelli a Monte Lupo?, Bolonga: Il Mulino, 1977). It has, alas, been too long since I read these for me to say whether the recommendations Pamuk has his characters make correspond to contemporary Italian practices in any detail.