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Rona, Bengisu (2007) 'Sairin Ikilemi: Yeni Edebiyatta Dil. [The Poet’s Dilemma: Language in 'New' Literature].' In: Rona, Bengisu and Toprak, Z., (eds.), Tevfik Fikret. Bir Muhalif Kimlik. İstanbul: Turkiye Is Bankasi Kultur Yayinları, pp. 25-49.

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The chapter submitted analyses the dilemmas of nineteenth century Turkish writers who were moulded in the classical Ottoman tradition and yet were now embracing new ideological and philosophical concepts and literary forms. Foremost in that is the question of language. Whilst there is a new force pushing writers to address themselves to not just the educated classes but the whole of the population in a simpler language, there also is a group of writers happily endorsing the new forms and concepts but still holding on to the tradition of writing in ornate Ottoman. The writings of İbrahim Şinasi who brought out the first Turkish language newspaper and introduced drama into Turkish literature as a new genre, Namık Kemal and Mehmet Emin in different literary genres are discussed primarily from the perspective of language. But it is Tevfik Fikret who stands out amongst these as the most controversial figure. He was the editor of the literary journal Servet-i Fünun for almost a decade and dictated the literary style of that period. As a humanist the ideas he expressed in his poetry have been controversial, but equally his use of language continues to attract controversy. Yet the fact that, whilst not restyling his language, he moved to a different mode of expression towards the end of his life has been largely ignored. Concentrating on the poetry of Tevfik Fikret, this work tries to bring a new perspective to the current debate over the contentious issue of language change in Turkey in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East
ISBN: 9789944882064
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2008 10:55

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