Orient Lost, Nurdan Gürbilek
Metis Nonfiction
Literary / Cultural Criticism
13 x 19.5 cm, 248 pp
ISBN No. 975-342-489-2

1st Print: March 2004
2nd Print: April 2007
Nurdan Gürbilek
Download high resolution copy
About the Author
One of the foremost cultural critics in Turkey, Nurdan Gürbilek is the author of Vitrinde Yaşamak (Life in the Shopwindow, 1992), an analysis of the cultural dynamics of the 1980s in Turkey. Her other publications include Yer Değiştiren Gölge (Shifting Shadow, 1995) and Ev Ödevi (Homework, 1999), collection of essays on modern Turkish writers. She is also the author of Kötü Çocuk Türk (Bad Boy Turk, 2001), an analysis of some of the significant images and tropes in modern Turkish literature and popular culture. In her last book Kör Ayna, Kayıp Şark (Orient Lost, 2004) Gürbilek explores the sexual anxieties accompanying the Ottoman-Turkish literary modernization. Nurdan Gürbilek also edited, translated and introduced Son Bakışta Aşk (Love at Last Sight, 1993), a collection of essays in Turkish by Walter Benjamin. She is currently working on a book on Dostoyevsky’s "underground tragedy" and its counterparts in modern Turkish literature.
Other Books from Metis
Vitrinde Yaşamak (Life in the Shopwindow), 1992
Yer Değiştiren Gölge (Shifting Shadow), 1995
Ev Ödevi (Homework), 1999
Kötü Çocuk Türk (Bad Boy Turk), 2001
Mağdurun Dili (Language of the Downtrodden), 2008 (Language of the Downtrodden), 2008
Nurdan Gürbilek
Orient Lost
Literature and Anxiety

Kör Ayna, Kayıp Şark
Edebiyat ve Endişe

A collection of essays on the anxieties accompanying the traumatic birth of the modern Ottoman-Turkish novel. Here Nurdan Gürbilek explores the sexual anxieties accompanying the Ottoman-Turkish literary modernization; the anxiety of effeminization and castration, the anxiety of losing virility and forever being locked up in childhood.
       Gürbilek starts her discussion by focusing on the gender aspect of the new "writer-reader contract" that guides the modern Ottoman-Turkish writer. The first essay "Male Writer, Female Reader" discusses how the Ottoman-Turkish novelists imagined the "reader" as basically female – emotional, erratic, prone to bad influence, an easy prey for the modern West, while imagining the "writer" as the male who aptly refuses to being seduced by foreign ideals, someone who influences rather than being influenced. The abundance of female readers in the early novels, says Gürbilek, are part of the novelist’s projective endeavor to cope with his own anxiety of influence which is always experienced as an anxiety of effeminization. The next essay "Anxiety of Effeminization" discusses the figure of the Ottoman-Turkish dandy not only as someone extremely influenced by the West, but also as a hybrid sexual figure, as an effeminate man, a castrated boy, a hybrid female-male, an infantile man devoid of virility and an effeminate reader having neither a national integrity nor an integral sexual self of its own.
       The relationship between the East and the West was generally imagined by the Ottoman-Turkish writers with the metaphor of seduction or marriage. The third essay in the collection "Gender of the East" discusses the radical transformations of the concept of the "East" in the Ottoman-Turkish imagination. Why was East imagined as a powerful conqueror by the first generation Tanzimat writers, but then as an old slave to lust by the next generation and how did it gradually become a mystical mother, a fecund female, the mother Orient for the later writers? Why was Europe sometimes imagined as a virgin silently waiting to be conquered and sometimes as a seductive but unattainable whore and sometimes as the young conqueror himself? Guided by these questions Gürbilek explains how not only West but East itself is reconstructed by Turkish writers with the national-sexual anxieties accompanying modernization. The fourth essay "Permanent Childhood" is a discussion on narcissistic injury and the Turkish novelist’s obsession with the mirror. And the last essay in the collection, "Literature of Child Nations" taking as its point of departure Fredric Jameson’s much debated "national allegory" theory on the Third World novel discusses with utmost care some of the traps of theories dedicating themselves to cultural difference.
Male Writer, Female Reader
Anxiety of Effeminization
Gender of the East
Permanent Childhood
Literature of Child Nations
Jale Özata Dirlikyapan, Kanat, Fall 2004
"In Orient Lost Nurdan Gürbilek once again offers crucial analyses and initiates new discussions. She approaches literary texts on the basis of the anxiety caused by dualisms such as individual/social, self/other or authenticity/imitation, and carves out a criteria for assessing value. Here too, Gürbilek is working not around literary texts but right from within them."
Fatih Özgüven, Virgül, January 2005
"Nurdan Gürbilek’s collection of essays –actually a perfect structure made up of writings that come out of one another– suggests, at least initially, that there is a sort of transvestism of literature. When we consider the observation that we can read literature as a masquerade, a disguise, and the fact that the focus here is 19th century Istanbul, we realize that the issue at hand is not only the work of the novelist and novel-writing but also modernization and Westernization. Thus ‘events unfold’… (Here I should say that Orient Lost achieves something rare for a book of its kind, it is as thrilling and captivating as a mystery novel.)"

Kişisel Veri Politikası
Aydınlatma Metni
Üye Aydınlatma Metni
Çerez Politikası

Metis Yayıncılık Ltd. İpek Sokak No.5, 34433 Beyoğlu, İstanbul. Tel:212 2454696 Fax:212 2454519 e-posta:bilgi@metiskitap.com
© metiskitap.com 2022. Her hakkı saklıdır.

Site Üretimi ModusNova

İnternet sitemizi kullanırken deneyiminizi iyileştirmek için çerezlerden faydalanmaktayız. Detaylar için çerez politikamızı inceleyebilirsiniz.