The future is made of history: Narrating the past in Turkish dystopian literature

Çamiçi, İlhan (2021) The future is made of history: Narrating the past in Turkish dystopian literature. [Thesis]

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This study aims to investigate dystopian literature as a growing genre in Turkish literature, by analyzing Tahsin Yücel’s Gökdelen (2006), Ayse Kulin’s Tutsak Günes (2015), Defne Suman’s Yagmur’dan Sonra (2020) and the short story collection Istanbul 2099 (2019) compiled by Kutlukhan Kutlu and Aslı Tohumcu. All literary works were written after 2000 and they touch upon up-to-date political, social and environmental issues in Turkey. This thesis scrutinizes how dystopian narratives form a common relationship with the past through the concept of archive. The narratives that take place in the future always refer to an unattainable, lost past which haunts the future. Due to the traumatic conditions of dystopian worlds, memories, architectural archives and written archives are damaged, illegible and insufficient to construct an identity or to resist totalitarianism. Nevertheless, the characters use remaining archives in a utopian impulse and strive to build a better future. In these four books, there is a constant compulsion to return to the past and complete its picture which is an impulse that functions similar to Jacques Derrida’s concept of archive fever. Regardless of their goals, whether nostalgia or creating a sense of belonging, all protagonists repetitively visit the past and collect as many archival materials as possible. This utopian impulse to achieve a better understanding of the past sometimes results in counter-narratives that challenge totalitarian ideologies in dystopias and become symbols of hope. The dichotomy of the past and the future reflects the writers’ concerns of the future of Turkey during their time of writing.
Item Type: Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: dystopian literature. -- archive. -- memory. -- utopian impulse. -- Turkish novel. -- distopya edebiyatı. -- arsiv. -- bellek. -- ütopyacı dürtü. -- Türk romanı.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Academic programs > Cultural Studies
Depositing User: IC-Cataloging
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2021 15:54
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2022 10:37

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