The Last of an Age : The Making and Unmaking of a Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Poet book cover
1st Edition

The Last of an Age
The Making and Unmaking of a Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Poet

ISBN 9781409440994
Published December 6, 2017 by Routledge
170 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In The Last of an Age, Sooyong Kim explores the relationship between

social change and the development of an Ottoman literary canon in the

course of the sixteenth century by examining the work and reception of

a popular poet, Zati (1471–1546). Kim argues that a newly emergent

group of bureaucratic literati, through the production of authoritative biographical

dictionaries, ultimately relegated Zati to a lesser literary age,

driven by a self-fashioning that privileged broad linguistic ability, above

all else, with poetry serving as the main vehicle for demonstrating that.

This study is interdisciplinary in approach, taking insights from literary

studies, cultural history, and social theory. It adds to the scholarship

on the rise of early modern Ottoman canons in the fields of visual arts

and music and complements recent work on court patronage. Framed by

ongoing critiques of canon formation among specialists of early modern

Europe and late imperial China, the study offers a comparative perspective

on those issues.

Table of Contents


1. Contexts: The Court and Beyond

1.1 The Court and Poetry

1.2 State, Society, and the Ottoman Way

1.3 The Social Spread of Poetry

1.4 The Matter of Poetic Training

2. A Poet in Istanbul

2.1 The New Cultural Capital

2.2 The Early Years

2.3 The Later Years

2.4 On Patronage

3. A Poet and His Work

3.1 The Remarkable Lyricist

3.2 Varieties of Convention, Questions of Audience

3.3 Of (Qualified) Praise

4. An Emerging Tradition

4.1 The Issue of Influence

4.2 Refashioning Familiar Poetry

4.3 Eastward Back

4.4 The Plain Turkish Movement Reconsidered

5 The Making of a Legacy

5.1 Mentor at Large

5.2 Zati and Baki

5.3 Linguistic Identity and Cultural Difference

5.4 A Poet Caught in Transition


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Sooyong Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Comparative Literature at Koç University, Istanbul.