Uncoupling Language and Religion. An Exploration into the Margins of Turkish Literature
Publication by Laurent Mignon
By looking at the contributions to Turkish literature of non-Muslim authors, this book lays the groundwork for a history of literature which uncouples language and religion and recreates the spaces of dialogue and exchange that have existed in late Ottoman Turkey between members of various ethno-religious communities.
This book is an invitation to rethink our understanding of Turkish literature as a tale of two “others.” The first part of the book examines the contributions of non-Muslim authors, the “others” of modern Turkey, to the development of Turkish literature during the late Ottoman and early republican period, focusing on the works of largely forgotten authors. The second part discusses Turkey as the “other” of the West and the way authors writing in Turkish challenged orientalist representations. Thus this book prepares the ground for a history of literature which uncouples language and religion and recreates the spaces of dialogue and exchange that have existed in late Ottoman Turkey between members of various ethno-religious communities.
Audience: Beside scholars involved in all disciplines of Ottoman and Turkish Studies, the book could be of interest for literary comparatists, scholars in Jewish Studies (two chapters are of direct relevance), scholars focusing on minority rights studies and scholars of religion in southeast European and Near Eastern contexts.
Laurent Mignon is Associate Professor of Turkish at the University of Oxford and a fellow of the Middle East Centre at Saint Antony’s College. His research interests range from minority literatures in late Ottoman Turkey to literary engagements with non-Abrahamic religions in a Turkish context.