Istanbul – Kushta – Constantinople presents twelve studies that draw on contemporary life narratives that shed light on little explored aspects of nineteenth-century Ottoman Istanbul. As a broad category of personal writing that goes beyond the traditional confines of the autobiography, life narratives range from memoirs, letters, reports, travelogues and descriptions of daily life in the city and its different neighborhoods. By focusing on individual experiences and perspectives, life narratives allow the historian to transcend rigid political narratives and to recover lost voices, especially of those underrepresented groups, including women and members of non-Muslim communities.
The studies of this volume focus on a variety of narratives produced by Muslim and Christian women, by non-Muslims and Muslims, as well as by natives and outsiders alike. They dispel European Orientalist stereotypes and cross class divides and ethnic identities. Travel accounts of outsiders provide us with valuable observations of daily life in the city that residents often overlooked.
Contents. List of Figures. Notes on Contributors. Introduction Christoph Herzog and Richard Wittmann. Part I: European and Ottoman Women in the Empire. 1. The Memories of German-speaking Women of Constantinople Gudrun Wedel. 2. Wanderlust, Follies, and Self-Inflicted Misfortunes: The Memoirs of Anna Forneris and her Thirty Years in Constantinople and the Levant Malte Fuhrmann. 3. The Imperial Harem Network in Istanbul, 1850s to 1922 Börte Sagaster. Part II: Outside Observers of Istanbul 4. Amalgamated Observations: Assessing American Impressions of Nineteenth-Century Constantinople and its Peoples Kent Schull. 5. Istanbul and the Formation of an Arab Teenager’s Identity. Recollections of a Cadet in the Ottoman Army in 1914 and 1916–17 Malek Sharif. 6. Hispanic Observers of Istanbul Pablo Martín Asuero. Part III: Jewish Communities 7. The Autobiographical Writings of the Constantinople Judezmo Journalist David Fresco as a Clue toward His Attitude to Language David M. Bunis 8. Istanbul’s Jewish Community through the Eyes of a European Jew. Ludwig A. Frankl in his Nach Jerusalem Yaron Ben-Naeh. Part IV: Armenian and Bulgarian Christian Communities 9. A Stroll through the Quarters of Constantinople: Sketches of the City as Seen through the Eyes of the Great Satirist Hagop Baronian Rachel Goshgarian. 10. From Short Stories to Social Topography: Misak Koçunyan’s Life Landscapes Aylin Koçunyan. 11."Bulgar Milleti Nedir?" Syncretic Forms of Belonging in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Istanbul. Darin Stephanov. 12. Twenty Years in the Ottoman Capital: The Memoirs of Doctor Hristo Tanev Stambolski of Kazanlik (1843-1932) from an Ottoman Point of View Johann Strauss. Index