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From Allegory to Parable: Inscriptions of Anatolia in the Turkish Novel

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2015

Jale Parla*
Affiliation:
İstanbul Bilgi University, İstanbul, Turkey, jparla@bilgi.edu.tr

Abstract

The Turkish novel became a national chronotope proper with the founding of the Republic in 1923 and the emergent conception of the national geography following the War of Independence (1919-1922). This was the Anatolian territory, with Ankara as the new capital of the nation instead of İstanbul which had been the Ottoman Empire's center for almost five centuries. Anatolia became the motherland on which the national consciousness of the new nation would be inscribed. In the novels of the republican era, Anatolian iconography and mythography illustrate how this setting became a persistent element of narrative structure as a significant topos in both senses of the word: as place and theme. An inquiry into the permutations of the theme of Anatolia since the War of Independence will reveal the changing attitudes and ideas related to Turkish nationalism and its most outstanding component, the cult of the father personified by Atatürk. This essay, however, does not only aim at a survey of an ideology's history via literature; it also investigates the Anatolian iconography and mythography, as they figure in the Turkish novel of the republican era, and touches upon the various narrative strategies that major Turkish novelists have employed in their search for the right form for this important content, the right form to either reinforce or undermine a sacred story.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © New Perspectives on Turkey 2007

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