Reşat Nuri Güntekin'in romanlarında aşk ilişkileri
Aytemiz, Beyhan Uygun
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This study focuses on the romantic novels of Reşat Nuri Güntekin (1889-1956), who is generally acknowledged as a founding member of national Turkish literature. It investigates the following eight novels of the author in terms of the love relationships displayed in them: Harabelerin Çiçeği (The Flowers of Ruin, 1918), Gizli El (The Secret Hand, 1920), Çalıkuşu (The Wren, 1922), Damga (The Stigma, 1924), Dudaktan Kalbe (From Lips to Heart, 1925), Akşam Güneşi (The Sunset, 1926), Bir Kadın Düşmanı (A Misogynist, 1927), Eski Hastalık (The Old Pain, 1938), and Ateş Gecesi (Night of Fire, 1942). The thesis mainly examines the personal value system and the love relationships depicted in Güntekin’s novels through the perspectives of their narrators and protagonists. It is observed that these characters’ traits almost always gather around a typical narcissistic configuration. Güntekin is consistent in creating characters that are selfcentered, arrogant, and in need of constant admiration. Their lack of empathy towards almost all others in their environment emerges from their insecure childhood experiences and inadequate parental interactions. Such constructions of the self in the novels in turn shape the protagonists’ love and other interpersonal relations, as well as the representation of Anatolia, which is often described as a place of exile. However, important differences are also observed in the novels, especially in the representation of love as experienced by male and female characters. While the author’s male characters seem to be capable of love, his female characters are not. This results in the disunion of the potential lovers, a phenomenon transforming the traditional structure of the typical romantic novel.