Tanzimat ve metatarih : Namık Kemal'in tarih anlatılarının poetikası
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In addition to being one of the most important agents of Turkish modernity, Namık Kemal (1840–88) is also among the founding figures of Turkish literature. Namık Kemal‘s historical narratives, written before İntibah, have generally been accorded a lesser place by the novel-centric historians of Turkish literature. The current work, however, argues that the aforementioned texts actually had a determining effect on the author‘s prose. In order to fully appreciate the formative role of these texts, this dissertation seeks to contextualize Namık Kemal‘s historical narratives within the Ottoman Empire‘s transformation during its own ―Long Nineteenth Century‖. In addition, it suggests that Ottoman history writing, whose roots date back to the 15th century, should be considered as a new field of research within the discourse of Turkish literature. This suggestion utilizes the theoretical framework of ―metahistory‖, which was laid down by Giambattista Vico and by Hayden White, whom Vico influenced. In this context, the first chapter, ―Poetics of Historical Narrative: Vico and White‖, discusses the ―Philological History Theory‖, developed by the Italian philosopher and historian Giambattista Vico in his monumental work New Science, through the assessments made by Erich Auerbach and Hayden White. It also offers a close analysis of Hayden White‘s poetic methodology, which was inspired by Vico and was discussed in White‘s Metahistory (1973). The second chapter, ―Poetics of Politics: Ottoman History Writing‖, aims to show the universal applicability of certain parts of White‘s Vico-inspired methodology. On the one hand, this chapter draws attention to the “foundational value‖ of history writing in Ottoman prose. On the other hand, it also examines the 19th -century Ottoman reform mentality, along with its history, dating back to the second half of the 16th century, in the context of the theory of tropes, making use of reliable secondary sources. The third chapter, entitled ―The Metahistory of a Hero‖, offers a biography of Namık Kemal that is separate from the usual novel-centric approach, focusing instead mainly on his ―historical narratives‖. Though this chapter makes use of the empirical features of the texts in order to construct a biography of Namık Kemal, it operates from an understanding of the fact that these texts are themselves historical narratives and evaluates these sources on a metahistorical level. The final chapter, ―A Wishful Writing of History‖, puts forward the following argument in historicizing our knowledge of Namık Kemal: the author‘s historical narratives between 1866 and 1876 were written optimistically, ―hoping‖ for an auspicious future for the Ottoman state. In this context, four of Namık Kemal‘s books, all of which had been published before Namık Kemal‘s exile in Magosa – Devr-i İstila (1866), Barika-i Zafer (1872), Evrak-ı Perişan (1873), and Vatan Yahut Silistre (1873) – were analyzed. These narratives, which have not been taken into consideration in novel-centric studies of ―prose‖, in fact play an important determining role in the context of 19th -century Ottoman prose.