Kemalettin Tuğcu romanları : özgün bir popüler edebiyat türü
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Popular literature is not a widely accepted category in Turkish literary criticism. This is because the discourse of high literature is often perceived as the “Literature” itself. According to that misconception of literature, many literary texts are incorrectly regarded as “non-literary” and some writers are excluded from the discourse of literature by referring to the counter-discourses on them. Being one of those writers, Kemalettin Tuğcu (1902-1996) and his popular novels are the main concern of this thesis. The thesis argues that the counter-discourse on Kemalettin Tuğcu has two dimensions: The first dimension is based on the popularity of Tuğcu’s novels. The second dimension relies on the close connection between the themes in the novels and “arabesk culture”. The thesis aims to analyze the counter-discourse against Kemalettin Tuğcu by focusing on the concept of popular literature. For that purpose, the concept of popular literature is defined and the novels of Kemalettin Tuğcu are regarded as examples of popular literature by focusing on the narrative structures in a sample of novels. Tuğcu’s novels, which had been regarded as “books for children” prior to this thesis, are re-defined as examples of young-adult literature by carefully relating popular literature to young-adult literature. It is also argued that there is an original genre in popular Turkish literature that consists of the novels of Kemalettin Tuğcu. The importance of the relationship between literature and society is emphasized in the thesis. That emphasis leads to pointing out to the themes and the narrative structure of Tuğcu’s novels, so that the “arabesk” themes are identified and analysed. The novels of Kemalettin Tuğcu are an important part of arabesk culture. On the other hand, the thesis offers an alternative approach by claiming that the novels may not be regarded as narratives of desperateness, but narratives of hope. These narratives completely fit into the resistant nature of popular literature.