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Title: A Shared Longing: Rewriting Nâzım Hikmet in Turkish and Turkish-German Literature, 1963-2017
Authors: Stockwell, Jill Farrington
Advisors: Levy, Lital
Contributors: Comparative Literature Department
Keywords: Afterlife
Turkish Literature
Subjects: Literature
Near Eastern studies
German literature
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation is a comparative study of Turkish and Turkish-German literature that traces the afterlife of Turkey’s foremost modernist poet, Nâzım Hikmet Ran (1902-1963). After Hikmet was convicted of sedition in 1938 for writing communist poetry, his works were banned until 1965 and remained only semi-legal in Turkey until the end of the Cold War. Meanwhile, allusions to his poetry proliferated both in his native Turkey and in Turkish communities in West Germany. Today, Hikmet’s words continue to haunt the very spaces from which he was excluded during his lifetime. His poetry is continually rewritten in poems and novels, and frequently quoted in diverse political movements ranging from pro-multiculturalism campaigns of West Germany in the 1980s to the Gezi Park protests of 2013. Neither purely literary nor simply political, these persistent citations of Hikmet’s poetry push the boundaries of contemporary understandings of intertextuality, commemoration, and the imagination of communities in and through shared texts. A Shared Longing examines texts that make reference to Hikmet’s poetry and biographical persona from his death in 1963 to the present day. The title makes reference to hasret (longing), an affect that takes on both romantic and political registers in Hikmet’s poetry, and which governs posthumous constructions of the author as an absent presence in Turkish public life. Departing from studies of authorial legacy focused on the limiting principle of “influence,” I examine texts that reference Hikmet’s work through a diverse array of intertextual modes. Conversely, I also use Hikmet’s afterlife to raise questions about the persistence of authorial biographies after poststructuralism, arguing that “Nâzım Hikmet” becomes a shared intertext of what I call “interpretive communities of allusion.” Five chapters situate the literary works of Oğuz Atay, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Saliha Scheinhardt, Berkan Karpat, Zafer Şenocak, and Nedim Gürsel in a broader constellation of literary and non-literary texts that make reference to Hikmet’s poetry. Examining posthumous constructions of Hikmet as both the narrator of a “speaker for death” and as an absent beloved, I propose a reexamination of the way counter- and transnational communities are imagined through shared intertexts.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Comparative Literature

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