Latife Tekin'in yapıtlarında büyülü gerçekçilik
Turgut, Canan Öktemgil
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Latife Tekin (b. 1957) is an influential writer whose early works had a deep impact on Turkish literature during the 1980s. She focuses on the lives of the poor and of people who migrated from villages to huge urban agglomerations. Social strata that until now had mainly been narrated in realist and socialist realist works are in the centre of Tekin’s magical realist works. The aim of this thesis is to study Tekin’s use of magical realist narrative techniques by exploring magical realism in her works. Apart from a few studies, her works have not yet been submitted to detailed scrutiny. The publication of her first work Dear Shameless Death (1983) was followed by several debates. However critics mainly aimed at establishing whether the novel was “realist” or “socialist realist”. Others criticized her for supposedly imitating Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967). Similar discussions on realism followed the publication of Berji Kristin: Tales from the Garbage Hills (1984), her second novel where she explores life in the villages and the suburbs, and again draws on Turkish oral traditions and Latin American magical realism. Tekin makes use of the content and the forms of the oral literary genres in her two novels, even though in the second one the focus is on the hybridization of the genres. In Icy Swords (1989) she approaches magical realism critically and reinterprets this literary approach in a original way. A study of those magical realist works based solely on realist or socialist realist criteria does not put enough focus on the formal originality and the content of Tekin’s novels. Moreover, the accusation of imitation obscures Tekin’s originality in appropriating Latin American magical realism. The thesis is focused on the three above-mentioned works. The conclusion of the study is that those aspects of the novels that were criticized by the apologists of realism and social realism actually reveal the author’s complete mastery of magical realist techniques. Tekin’s magical realism is far from being a mere imitation of Latin American models: it is an original reinterpretation based on native literary traditions. The synthesis of native and Latin American techniques is at the heart of Tekin’s original works. Hence we may speak of a native form of magical realism.