Okurunu arayan romanlar : 19 yüzyıl Osmanlı-Türk romanlarında okur profili
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This study focuses on the characters in 19th century Ottoman-Turkish novels, particularly on their role as book readers. Twenty-five novels by Ahmed Midhat, Fatma Aliye, Hüseyin Rahmi and Halid Ziya are primarily considered in analyzing the “reader profile”. The characters are examined from several perspectives; whether they are male or female, positive or negative, “eastern” or “western” oriented, and superficial or thorough readers. The analyses made by the author-narrator as to why these characters read or why they should read are studied in detail. The authors’ views on literature and culture are interpreted through the evaluation of the relationship between the characters and the books they read. All four authors mentioned above feature their reader characters in their novels in different patterns and for different reasons. Ahmed Midhat creates a reader in almost all his novels in order to promote readership in the population including women and presents his “ideal reader” image. This design continues in Fatma Aliye’s work, only this author focuses more on women characters to highlight her views on women’s education. It is observed that Hüseyin Rahmi opposes such idealization and brings forth a critical approach to the “ideal reader” image. It is concluded that his satirical style breaks the trend to view books as sources of object lessons. Halid Ziya joins Hüseyin Rahmi in the critical approach toward images of “book” and “reader”, since the characters in his novels criticize the press and literary circles of those times. It is demonstrated that in addition to his predecessors, Halid Ziya chooses to use them more as problematic ones.