"Ulusal alegori"den imparatorluk eğretilemesine : Osmanlı romanında çok-katmanlı anlatı yapısı

Date

2008

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Mignon, Laurent

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Bilkent University

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English

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Abstract

Early Ottoman novels are simple “imitation”s of the French realism from the point of post-Republican critical discourse that establishes a direct relationship between the birth of the novel and the Ottoman modernisation process of the nineteenth century. Combining this claim with the “fact” that Ottoman novelists merely instrumentalised the genre in order to pursue their political aims, the birth of the Ottoman novel is assumed to be a process of technical “inferiority”. The main source of such inferiority, hence, is supposed to be the influence of the Ottoman Classical (Divan) poetry. On the other hand, this study essentially claims that a different theoretical paradigm is necessary to be able to evaluate both the process of social transformation that determines the emergence of the novel as a literary form and the novels produced in this process. Then, the source of such degrading viewpoint is not the novels themselves but the Eurocentric theoretical perspective of the post-Republican critical discourse. This study provides the literature survey on the post-Republican critiques about the Ottoman novels and the analysis of their multi-layered narrative structure to prove its basic claim. The multi-layered narrative structure is the result of the transformative synthesis of the narrative techniques of both the French realism and the Divan poetry. The novels are interpreted in a way that would reveal the political discussions on the transformation of the power structure of the empire and the aesthetical evaluation of the novel as a literary genre. The love narrative provided on the literal level acts as the basis of this multi-layered structure and carries two different narrative layers by synthesising the metaphorical narrative structure of the Divan poetry with technical narrative tools of the French realism.

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