Comparative queer readings : queer potentials in the texts of Kulin, Mungan and Toptaş

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Bilkent University
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This thesis analyses twelve contemporary Turkish literary texts having the focus on queer theory. These are the tetralogy of Ayşe Kulin’s including Gizli Anların Yolcusu, Bora’nın Kitabı, Dönüş and Handan novels, Murathan Mungan’s Son İstanbul, Cenk Hikâyeleri, Kaf Dağının Önü, Üç Aynalı Kırk Oda stories and Hasan Ali Toptaş’s Sonsuzluğa Nokta, Bin Hüzünlü Haz, Gölgesizler and Uykuların Doğusu novels. This study compares Ayşe Kulin and Murathan Mungan’s texts that are shown under the title of “LGBTI literature” and Hasan Ali Toptaş novels which have never been analysed with the focus of LGBTI and queer themes, and these texts are being subjected to a closer look from queer theory perspective. It was aimed to investigate the way of character creation and fiction in texts and also to investigate effects of the qualities of literary works shown under LGBTI literature on the construction of the bodies and performances of the characters of heteronormative and dichotomous sex, sexual orientation, sexuality and desire dynamics.Queer theory brings new meanings to performances, bodies, species, discourses and policies by being out of the normative field and violating norms. Queer theory also strives to deconstruct the dichotomous, sharp and straight boundaries of the norm and identity constructions. In this context, queer theory enables to regard the fragility, transcendence, fluidity and movement of the boundaries in the construction of identities. Thus, Mungan’s works differentiate from Ayşe Kulin’s way of creating characters and fiction by deconstructing heteronormativity and the dichotomous construction of gendered identities and sexualities, while drawing a parallel path with Hasan Ali Toptaş’s novels. By this way, through the queer potential in Mungan’s and Toptaş’s texts it is shown how the fictional items, which have no straight boundaries, cannot easily be considered by being gendered on the heteronormative ground.

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Ayşe Kulin, Contemporary Turkish Literature, Hasan Ali Toptaş, Murathan Mungan, Queer Theory
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