1st Edition

Routledge Handbook on Turkish Literature

Edited By Didem Havlioğlu, Zeynep Uysal Copyright 2023

    This Handbook provides a comprehensive overview of Turkish literature within both a local and global context.

    Across eight thematic sections a collection of subject experts use close readings of literature materials to provide a critical survey of the main issues and topics within the literature. The chapters provide analysis on a wide range of genres and text types, including novels, poetry, religious texts, and drama, with works studied ranging from the fourteenth century right up to the present day. Using such a historic scope allows the volume to be read across cultures and time, while simultaneously contextualizing and investigating how modern Turkish literature interacts with world literature, and finds its place within it. Collectively, the authors challenge the national literary historiography by replacing the Ottoman Turkish literature in the Anatolian civilizations with its plurality of cultures. They also seek to overcome the institutional and theoretical shortcomings within current study of such works, suggesting new approaches and methods for the study of Turkish literature.

    The Routledge Handbook on Turkish Literature marks a new departure in the reading and studying of Turkish literature. It will be a vital resource for those studying literature, Middle East studies, Turkish and Ottoman history, social sciences, and political science.


    Didem Havlioğlu & Zeynep Uysal

    Part 1: Mystical Genesis

    1. It All Starts with a Dream: The motif of Dream in Turkish Literature

    Özgen Felek

    2. Aşık Literature in Historical Context

    Ali Karamustafa

    3. Selfhood and Mystical Language in the Poetry of Yunus Emre

    Zeynep Oktay

    Part 2: Ottoman Poetics

    4. Histories of Ottoman Literature from Periphery to Imperial Center

    Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano

    5. Gazel as Genre among the Ottoman Ruling Elite

    Selim Kuru

    6. Towards a Theory of Ottoman Allegory: Allegorical Narratives from Ḥüsn ü Dil to Ḥüsn ü ʿAşq

    Berat Açıl

    7. Human Voice Echoing in the Silence of God: Tevfik Fikret and Modern Ottoman Poetry

    Deniz Aktan

    Part 3: Cultures of Reading

    8. Reading and Writing Practices in the Ottoman Empire

    Irvin Cemil Schick

    9. Rewriting as an Ottoman Translation Practice: Two Bīẖ-i Çīnī Translations by Sixteenth-Century Poets

    Gülşah Taşkın

    10. Narrative as the Literary Public: Reader and Author Figures in Modern Ottoman Turkish Literature (1866-1896)

    Fatih Altuğ

    Part 4: Women and Gender

    11. Methodological Challenges in Late Ottoman and Turkish Literary Scholarship: Gender, Aesthetics, and Sociopolitical Contexts

    Hülya Adak

    12. Gender in Islamicate Ottoman Turkish Poetry

    Didem Havlioglu

    13. Gendered Narratives of Ottoman Prose Fiction: The ‘Wiles of Women’ Stories

    Ipek Hüner Cora

    14. Towards a Gynocritical Study of Turkish Fiction: Contemporary Turkish Women’s Literature (1950-1970)

    Olcay Akyıldız

    Part 5: Linguistic Diversity

    15. Karamanlidika Literary Production in the Mid-Nineteenth Century

    Şehnaz Şişmanoğlu

    16. A Comparative Glimpse of the Early Steps of Novelistic Imagination in Turkish: Armeno-Turkish Novels of the 1850s and 1860s

    Murat Cankara

    17. Making the ‘Other’ Your Own: The Challenge of Modern Kurdish Literature Regarding Kurdish Voices in Turkish

    Suat Baran and Ömer F. Yekdeş

    Part 6: National identity

    18. Modern Turkish Literary Historiography: Mehmet Fuat Köprülü and His Legacy

    Halim Kara

    19. Theatre as a Propagandist Tool from Late Ottoman to 1930s in Turkey

    Esra Dicle

    20. Imagining the Nation from the Street: Nationalism, Daily Life and Emotions in the Short Stories of Ömer Seyfettin

    Erol Köroğlu

    21. Humanist Translation and the Making of Modern Turkey

    Fırat Oruç

    Part 7: Literary Modernisms

    22. Envisioning Modern Individual in the Late 19th Century Ottoman-Turkish Fiction

    Zeynep Uysal

    23. “We, Too, Are Oriental”: Nâzım Hikmet’s Futurist and Anti-Colonial Modernity

    Kenan Sharpe

    24. The Emergence and the End of an Endemic Genre in Turkish Literature: The Case of Village Novel in a Comparative Context

    Erkan Irmak

    25. Poetic Urbanism in Turkish Modernist Poetry: Dramatic Monologue in The Second New Wave

    Veysel Öztürk

    26. Laughter in the dark: The Modernist Avant-Garde Path in Turkish Literature

    Murat Gülsoy

    Part 8: Political Turmoils and Traumas

    27. The Aufhebung of Traumatic Memory: Literary Responses to Military Coups in Turkey

    Çimen Günay Erkol

    28. Conflicting Ideologies, Competing Ideals: The Intellectual Types of the 1970s Turkish Novel

    Burcu Alkan

    29. The Grammar of Conspiracy in Orhan Pamuk’s Snow

    Erdağ Göknar

    Appendix: A Chronology


    Didem Havlioğlu is a literary historian working on women and gender in the Ottoman intellectual culture. She has published several articles both in Turkish and English. Her book Mihri Hatun: Performance, Gender-Bending, and Subversion in Early Modern Ottoman Intellectual History (2017) introduces Mihrî Hatun (ca. 1460–1515), the first woman writer in Ottoman history whose work survived in manuscript copies, and contextualizes her work in the early modern intellectual culture. She is currently an associate professor of the practice, teaching in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University.

    Zeynep Uysal is an associate professor of modern Turkish literature at Boğaziçi University. As a visiting scholar, she taught modern Turkish literature and gave public lectures in the Oriental Institute at the University of Oxford between 2001 and 2003. She published a book titled Olağanustu Masaldan Cağdaş Anlatıya: Muhayyelat-ı Aziz Efendi [From Marvelous Tales to Modern Narratives: Aziz Efendi’s Imaginations] in 2006. She edited a book, titled Edebiyatın Omzundaki Melek: Edebiyatın Tarihle İlişkisi Uzerine Yazılar, about the relationship between history and literature in 2011. Her recent book, Metruk Ev, on the leading modern Turkish writer Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil, was published in 2014. She has also written extensively on various issues in modern Turkish literature, including the relationship between literature and space, literature and history, and literature and nationalism in leading academic journals.