Leylâ Erbil'in romanlarında cinsellik sorunsalı
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The Problem of Sexuality in Leylâ Erbil’s Novels Leylâ Erbil (1931-), who has been on the literary scene since 1950, is now considered one of the most creative authors of modern Turkish literature. Erbil has attracted attention with her daring and in-part experimental authorship, and she has always been sensitive to social and political issues. In her novels and short stories Erbil has also developed new styles and techniques. In the works of Erbil, who examines the social and political problems of modern Turkish society with exceptional sensitivity, the issue of sexuality has a unique place. Erbil deals with the social and psychological dimensions of sexuality in her works. In this thesis, Erbil’s novels Tuhaf Bir Kadın (A Strange Woman) (1971), Karanlığın Günü (The Day of Darkness) (1985), Mektup Aşkları (Love in Letters) (1988), and Cüce (The Dwarf) (2001) are interpreted on the basis of sexuality. The first part of the thesis, entitled “The Formation of Sexual Identity” examines the influence of past experience and familial relationships on the formation of sexuality with reference to Erbil’s first three novels. Cüce is not discussed in this part since it does not contain sufficient data on the subject. In the second part, entitled “The Experience of Sexuality”, the characters’ sexual lives and their relationships with the other sex are examined within the context of Erbil’s first three novels. The biological and cultural dimensions of sexuality are interpreted with reference to Cüce. The last part, entitled “Sexuality in the Public Domain”, is composed of two subsections: “Women Authorship” and “The Exploitation of Sexuality in the Media”. In the first subsection, the status of the woman author in society, different attitudes to authorship, and problems involving authorship are examined. In the second subsection, the exploitation of sexuality by the media is assessed via examples from Karanlığın Günü. It is observed that sexuality consitutes the basic problematic in Leylâ Erbil’s novels and that it is scrutinized persistently and consistently. In all her novels, Erbil focuses on the pasts of the characters, specifically on their childhood experiences and their family relationships. It is observed that their pasts are influential also on their adulthoods. In her innovative works, Leylâ Erbil manages to consider at length the problems of sexuality without compromising her mature attitude as an author.