The Turkish Novel and the Quest for Rationality


The Turkish Novel and the Quest for Rationality is the first book to contextualize the Turkish novel with regard to the intellectual developments motivating the Turkish modernization project since the 18th century. The book provides a dialectical narrative for the emergence and development of the Turkish novel in order to highlight the genre’s critical role within the modernization project. In doing so, it also delineates the changing forms the novel assumes in the Turkish context from a platform for new literature to a manifestation of crisis in the face of totalizing rationality. Vis-a-vis modernization's engagement with rationality, The Turkish Novel and the Quest for Rationality reveals unexplored ways of conceptualizing the development of the genre in non-western contexts.


EUR €95.00USD $114.00

Biographical Note

Ayşe Özge Koçak Hemmat, Ph.D., Northwestern University, is an independent scholar and project manager. She has published in the journal of Middle Eastern Literatures, as well as contributing to the Dictionary of Literary Biography series.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Prologue Introduction 1 The Rationality of Turkish Modernity 1 Appropriating Rationality 2 Military Reforms and Intellectual Concerns 3 Scientistic Rationality 4 Rational Nationhood 2 Reason Demands Rational Novels Discourse on the Novel 3 Araba Sevdasi—a Novel of Bad Education and Civilized Monsters 1 Books and Follies: Bihruz Bey’s Misadventures in Reading 2 Between Divertissement and Travail—or, How to Approach the Novel 3 Çamlica Garden: Irrational Uses of Rational Spaces 4 Yaban: Inventing the Adversary in Irrational Provinces 1 Confronting the Peasant: Noble Savage or Beast? 2 Parade of Beasts against the Humanist 3 Object of an Idea, or the Truth of the Peasant 5 The Past as an Object: Orientalist Fantasies of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar 1 Objectifying the Past: Orientalist Aestheticization of Culture 2 Continuing a Tradition and Confining the Past 3 Where to Find Peace of Mind: Huzur as a Novel of Ottoman Fantasies  3.1 Between Nuran and Ihsan—Sacred Light and Secular Beneficence  3.2 Not an Odalisque from a Matisse Painting 4 Eliminating the Past and Resetting the Clocks in Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü 6 Reason’s Quarrel with Totalizing Rationality in Oguz Atay 1 Reason versus Totalizing Rationality 2 Butchering and Philosophy: How Rationality Mutilates Reason 3 Pure Reason’s Union with Naïve Reason Epilogue Bibliography Index<


All interested in the emergence and development of the Turkish novel, and anyone working on world literature, Middle Eastern literatures and novels