Esat Mahmut Karakurt`un roman(s)larında erkek kahramanlar
Bozkurt, Senem Timuroğlu
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Esat Mahmut Karakurt (1902-1977) was an influential writer of Turkish literature in the Republican period, especially with his romance, adventure, and spy narratives that reached a large female audience. After he published his first collection of short stories in 1926, Karakurt wrote a total of 16 novels until 1960. His novels, which were serialized first in newspapers, helped increase their circulation, and most volumes were reprinted eight to ten times. All Karakurt narratives were adapted at least once as screenplays. Because they are not considered “serious” literature, few analyses of popular romances are available in both Turkish and western literary studies, and the ones that exist are mostly devoted to women authors and their heroines. Therefore, this thesis aims both to revitalize the semi-forgotten novelistic romances of an influential author, and to fill a gap in romance studies by examining a male author’s approach to romance by analyzing his heroes. The thesis focuses on two of Esat Mahmut Karakurt’s novels, namely Allaha Ismarladık (Goodbye, 1936) and İlk ve Son (The First and the Last, 1940), although frequent references are made to the author’s other novels as well. The theoretical framework of the study is influenced by Tania Modleski’s and Janice Radway’s analyses that are guided by feminist and psychoanalytic considerations, as well as by John G. Cawelti’s work focusing on the structure of romance. In this three-part thesis, first, the physical, educational, and professional attributes, the relations of love, and the ideological discourses of the male characters in Karakurt’s novels are analyzed. It is observed that these heroes are often handsome bachelors in their thirties, successful at work, and fond of stylish clothing; their attitude towards women and love is distant; and they share a nationalistic and conservative worldview. Then, these common traits are discussed in the context of the generic qualities of romance and what they mean in terms of female readers’ fantasies.