Multicultural literature and the debates around a single literary canon in Turkey
Kızmaz, Can Erhan (2018) Multicultural literature and the debates around a single literary canon in Turkey. [Thesis]
This thesis focuses on the literary canon in Turkish literature. There is not a single literary canon in Turkish literature, which constitutes the main body of literature. On the contrary, there are different literary canons belonging to different ideological, ethnic, religious and cultural groups. In the formation of these various literary canons in Turkey, the role of the ideological standpoints is crucial. Firstly, I give a broad definition of the literary canon putting the notion of canon in the historical process and then, I focus on the literary canon debates in the West and Turkey. To understand the workings of the literary canon in Turkey, I examine two authors from the left-wing literary canon, namely, Kemal Tahir and Nazım Hikmet and their most contentious works with regard to the effects of the ideological standpoints on the evaluation of the literary works in Turkey. Firstly, I analyze Devlet Ana (Mother State) by Kemal Tahir, which represents a good example of the effect of the ideological standpoint on the canonization of novels in Turkish literature. Then, I analyze Human Landscapes from my Country and The Epic of the Independence War by Nazım Hikmet. These two epics composed by Nazım are other typical examples that illustrate the effects of the ideological standpoint on the literary works. After the analyses of these works, I state that there is not a single literary canon in Turkish literature and the reciprocal relationship, which develops on the basis of ideology, between the wording and the perception of the literary works is the underlying cause of the ideological appraisal of the literary works.
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