Nurullah Ataç'ın eleştiri pratiğinde uygarlık sorunu
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Modernity, which occurred first in Western Europe, paved the way for important changes in the area of aesthetics. Through the transformation that happened in the area of aesthetics, arts gained new contents and functions. As a matter of fact, these developments led to the emergence of specific notions for art, literature and literary criticism rooted in modernity. This “new” literature and literary criticism grew in the public sphere including salons, cafes, newspapers and periodicals. Following the establishment of the bourgeoisie’s power, both literature and literary criticism became independent of politico-cultural struggle and turned into a special discourse and autonomous area. In countries like Turkey, the flow of these developments followed different routes. The ruling elites of Turkey tried to create a Westernized literature and literary criticism. In this context, Nurullah Ataç is one of the critics who made genuine contributions to those efforts by evaluating many aspects of the Westernization problematic. N. Ataç’s understanding of art, literature and criticism was rooted in the modernist frame. He claimed that Turkish elites must throw away most of what hindered Westernization. To attain this goal, Ataç asserted that the ruling elites should not make concessions including the people and their traditions. According to him to the maximum possible extent, life and arts must be redesigned through these ideals. This outlook makes him unique and distinguishes him from the other intellectuals of his time.