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A Millennium of Turkish Literature

A Concise History

Talat S. Halman and edited by Jayne L Warner

Publication Year: 2011

A Millennium of Turkish Literature tells the story of how literature evolved and grew in stature on the Turkish mainland over the course of a thousand years. The book features numerous poems and extracts, most in fluid translations by Halman. This volume provides a concise, but captivating, introduction to Turkish literature and, with selections from its extensive "Further Reading" section, serves as an invaluable guide to Turkish literature for course adoption.

Published by: Syracuse University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. v

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Foreword: A Time-Honored Literature

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pp. vii-ix

... that could serve as a definition of the life story of Turkish literature from the eighth century a.d. to the present day. A geographic span from Outer Mongolia and the environs of China through Inner Asia, the Caucasus, the Middle East and North Africa, the Balkans and Europe all the way to North America. An amalgam of cultural and literary orientations that has embraced such traditions ...

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Note on Turkish Spelling and Names

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pp. xi-xii

... Turkish authors, place-names, publications, and special terms, this volume employs modern Turkish spelling. Th e entries in Suggested Reading and the index are arranged according to the modern Turkish alphabet that appears below. ...

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The Dawn in Asia

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pp. 1-10

Its creative tradition, according to some debatable claims made by numerous scholars, dates back to before Christ. It is commonly accepted, however, that its legacy of written works spans twelve centuries.1 In their long history, the Turks have gone through more changes than most nations, and yet—paradoxical as it may sound—they have preserved ...

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pp. 11-24

Whereas the raiders and the soldiers of Islam kept waging war to expand the frontiers of the faith, the Sufis—men of peace, humanism, and love—preached the virtues of tranquility in the heart and all over the world. Th e mystic philosopher whose thoughts and spiritual guidance were to dominate Anatolia from the thirteenth century onward and to inspire ...

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Ottoman Glories

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pp. 25-54

... had a life span of more than six centuries, from 1299 to 1922. A single dynasty reigned in unbroken continuity. Islam was not only the religious faith, but also the political ideology of the basically theocratic Ottoman state. Th e empire was multiracial, multinational, multireligious, multilingual. In ruling over these disparate ...

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Timeless Tales

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pp. 55-62

In this lilting overture, one finds the spirit and some of the essential features of the Turkish folktale: the vivid imagination, irreconcilable paradoxes, rhythmic structure (with built-in syllabic meters and internal rhymes), a comic sense bordering on the absurd, a sense of the mutability of the world, the aesthetic urge to avoid loquaciousness, the continuing presence of the past, ...

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Occidental Orientation

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pp. 63-80

The Ottoman Turks, proud of their faith and conquests, felt superior to the West until decline set in. From the seventeenth century onward, there were defeats at the hands of European powers, deterioration of morale and official institutions, and eventually the armed rebellions of the empire’s non-Muslim minorities. The Ottoman ruling class gradually ...

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Republic and Renascence

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pp. 81-132

In image, in aspiration, in identification, the official and cultural establishment became largely Europeanized. Education was made secular, and reforms were undertaken to divest the country of its Muslim orientation. Th e legal system adapted the Swiss Civil Code, the Italian Penal Code, and German Commercial Law. Perhaps the most difficult of all reforms, the ...

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Afterword: The Future of Turkish Literature

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pp. 133-138

... that poetry dominated Turkish literature for nearly a thousand years. In the latter part of the twentieth century, though, poetry was eclipsed by fiction, which established its hegemony in the present age. Orhan Pamuk’s winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006 certainly played a major role in this phenomenon, although it would not be incorrect to assert that the novel genre might have become ascendant even ...

Suggested Reading

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pp. 139-154


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pp. 155-168

Biographical Notes

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pp. 169-170

E-ISBN-13: 9780815650744
E-ISBN-10: 0815650744
Print-ISBN-13: 9780815609582
Print-ISBN-10: 0815609582

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2011