Evliyâ Çelebi'nin acayip ve garip dünyası

Date
2012
Advisor
Tezcan, Nuran
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

Evliyâ Çelebi,in his work Seyahatnâme (Book of Travels), draws the reader’s attention to certainnarratives by repeated recourse to specificnarrative genres. One such genre, which is important for appreciating Evliyâ Çelebi as a storyteller and understanding the fictional dimensions of his work, is that of “marvels and wonders” (acayib ü garayib). In this study, “Evliyâ’s world of the strange and wondrous”is analyzed through the mentality of this storyteller who feeds on and is fed by oral culture, considering the epistemological standards of the 17th -century Ottoman world.Indoing so, the study proposes to approach Evliyâ Çelebi as a storyteller based on Walter Benjamin’s work “The Storyteller” and on the oral character of Seyahatnâme.Focusing on acayib ü garayib, evaluations will also be made of suchconcepts as “true and untrue”, “reality and fiction”, “context”, “experience”, and “knowledge”. Considering the long-standing history of Acâ’ib in the tradition of travel narratives, Evliyâ’s use of this category seems to be a conscious decision based on the Islamic tradition of travel writing.To fully understand what Evliyâfinds to be “strange and wondrous” and why he does so, the narratives in question can be classified under certain concepts, such as talismans and spells, magic and witchcraft, dreams and prophecies, adventures, physical appearances, animals, different beliefs or cultures, landforms, architectural structures, and so on. These include most of the basic concepts in Evliyâ’s travels, and indeed in his life. Thus, it is difficult to say that the narratives of “marvels and wonders” in the Seyahatnâme focus on certain restricted topics. The common characteristic of these texts is that they all evoke a feeling of “astonishment”. Besides this, Evliyâ rarely places a totally fictitious, supernatural, or fantastic story under the title of acayib or garayib. Rather, in the majority of thetexts, these terms refer more than anything else to the realm of reality, rather than to that of fantasy.

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Evliyâ Çelebi’s Seyahatnâme(Book of Travels), acayib ü garayib, storyteller, reality and fiction
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Published Version (Please cite this version)