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The identity metonymics of translated Turkish fiction in English

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Abstract

Focusing on the novels of Orhan Pamuk and Bilge Karasu in English translation, this study explores the ways their reception evokes identity issues regarding Turkey. It begins with a theoretical discussion, comparing “national allegory” (Jameson 1986) and “metonymics” (Tymoczko 1999), which is a more apt concept when dealing with representations translations offer. The analysis section focuses on the recontextualization of the novels in the reviews in British and American target cultures and the discourses in which they are embedded, illustrating that the works of the two writers establish different metonymical connections: while Pamuk’s novels are linked to a discourse that defines Turkish cultural identity between East and West, no such association exists for those of Karasu. I argue that the identity metonymics found in Pamuk’s translations is one of the factors underlying his popularity.

References

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