Hagia sophia mosque and ekphrastic approach in evliyâ çelebi’s seyahatnâme (the book of travels)
Milli Folklor Dergisi
114 - 120
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As a part of the ancient Greek and Roman rhetorical practices, “ekphrasis” basically means the verbalisation of a visual object, and it has become a literary tool in time. Since the description of Achilles’ shield in Homer’s İlliad, ekphrasis has been a frequently used literary practice which writers, historians and art critics apply. Ekphrasis can be applied as the description of visual art objects through the fictional forms such as poetry and novel as well as it occurs in the prose concerning history, art criticism and travelogues; it is studied in order to analyse writer’s handling with the description of the object. Ekphrasis studies enable to capture the writer’s relationship between objectivity and subjectivity, the elements of his/her expressed subjectivity, through literary tools. This study will examine Evliyâ Çelebi’s ekphrastic approach in describing Hagia Sofia Mosque in Seyahatnâme (The Book of Travels), especially focusing on how the subjective factors determining the writer’s aesthetic appreciation occur in his literary practice. What kind of a fictive language does ekphrasis, which is essentially the act of making the silent image talk, show in Evliyâ Çelebi’s representation? What are the characters of the new image created by this language, which is independent from the original object, in other sense the Hagia Sophia image of Evliyâ‘s? How does the reflection of personal taste and cultural positioning affect aesthetic view of Evliyâ Çelebi’s ekphrastic narrative? As well as how the writer positions himself it should also be examined how the writer positions his aimed reader. This questioning aims to observe how the aesthetic view of Seyahatnâme’s author takes shape and to be a model of an approach to put forth the new literary qualities of Seyahatnâme’s in the light of ekphrasis study. The problem of “ekphrasis” enables Seyahatnâme which has been already a study topic for various social sciences, to be evaluated in the discipline of fiction more widely. As the issue concerns basically the relationship between visuality and writing, it would bring a new interdisciplinary approach to Seyahatnâme studies.
Seyahatnâme (the book of travels)
Visuality and literature