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7 - Writing Through Osmotic Borders: Boundaries, Liminality and Language in Mehmet Yashin's Poetics

from Part Two - Lives and Narratives, Territories and Worlds

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2012

Rosita D'Amora
Affiliation:
University of Salento
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Summary

In the poem Savaş Zamani (Wartime) the Turkish Cypriot author Mehmet Yashin's (Yaşin) writing self confesses: ‘I was often unsure in which language to shed my tears, / the life I lived wasn't foreign, but one of translation – / my mother-tongue one thing, my motherland another, / and I, again, altogether different…’ Some of the most important threads of Yashin's poetics intersect here in these lines. Mehmet Yashin was born in Nicosia in 1958, when Cyprus was still a politically undivided territory under British colonial rule, but already torn by fierce intercommunal conflicts between the two major ethnic groups populating the island, the Greeks and the Turks. His family is of Turkish origins and Turkish is his mother tongue – the language he learned before any other in what, in another poem entitled Bir Hayalet (A Ghost), he describes as the ‘polyglot house, now silenced’ that he was raised in. And this language still remains the main means of his literary writing. Yet, throughout Yashin's oeuvre, both in his literary works and in his essays, it is possible to trace a constant hesitation about the language he finds more appropriate to resort to in order to express himself, even when his poetical urge leads him to disclose his most intimate sorrows.

Type
Chapter
Information
Thinking on Thresholds
The Poetics of Transitive Spaces
, pp. 101 - 112
Publisher: Anthem Press
Print publication year: 2011

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