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[Book Review] Ikinci Yeni: The Turkish avant-garde

[Book Review] Ikinci Yeni: The Turkish avant-garde

Adil, Alev (2011) [Book Review] Ikinci Yeni: The Turkish avant-garde. Modern Poetry in Translation, 3 (16). ISSN 0026-8291

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Poetry has always been the dominant art form in Turkish culture but in the 20th century both Turkish politics and poetry were to be transformed in the crucible of a modernist revolution that strove to erase the past and rewrite the future. The Kemalist Turkish Republic in 1923 introduced a language revolution, which sought to streamline, simplify and ‘purify’ Turkish, to rid it of its Farsi and Arabic Ottoman court finery. A new phonetic Latin alphabet brought mass literacy, and instantly made the past unreadable. As in the Soviet Union, poets in the new Turkish Republic had a symbiotic and problematic relationship with the State. Nazim Hikmet, Turkey’s foremost modernist poet was to die in exile in Moscow. The first wave of Turkish avant-garde poetics, the Garip poets, produced limpid and often magical work, Orhan Veli’s ‘Rag and Bone Man’ for instance, which sought to strip poetry of its artifice, literary techniques and conventions, to write transparent direct language that spoke to the people. Unfortunately the exuberant surrealist and politically engaged verse the Garip movement produced was as short-lived as Veli himself, who died prematurely at the age of thirty-six. Critics soon detected a darker; more introspective, abstract and individualistic turn in modern Turkish poetry, which they labelled the Ikinci Yeni, the Second New.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] This is a book review of Ikinci Yeni : The Turkish Avant-Garde Translated by George Messo Shearsman Books, 168 pp, ISBN 101-8-4861-066-1
Uncontrolled Keywords: poetry, translation, Turkish literature, modernism, book review
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of Communications & Creative Arts
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:17

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