Brecht, Turkish Theater, and Turkish-German Literature
Title Details

174 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

14 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture

Imprint: Camden House

Brecht, Turkish Theater, and Turkish-German Literature

Reception, Adaptation, and Innovation after 1960

by Ela Gezen

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Uncovers the central role of Brecht reception in Turkish theater and Turkish-German literature, examining interactions between Turkish and German writers, texts, and contexts.
Bertolt Brecht died in 1956, but his theory and practice has continued to shape debates about the politics of culture - not only in Germany, but in Turkey as well, where a new generation of intellectuals emerged during a period ofliberalization in the 1960s and sought to link culture to politics, art to life, theater to revolutionary practice. Ever since, Brecht has connected two cultures that have become ever more intertwined. Drawing upon archival research and close textual analysis, this study reconstructs how Brecht's thought was first interpreted by theater practitioners in Turkey and then by Turkish writers living in Germany. Gezen first focuses on Turkey in the 1960s, reconstructing theater programming and critical debates in literary journals in order to explore how Brechtian stage productions thematized issues in Turkish politics and cultural affairs. She then traces the significance of Brechtiantheater practice and aesthetics for Aras Ören (1939-) and Emine Sevgi Özdamar (1946-), two important writers, actors, and dramatists who emigrated to Germany. By shedding light on their theatrical involvement in Turkey and East and West Germany, this study not only introduces a new context for comprehending individual works, but also enhances our understanding of the intellectual interchanges that shaped the emergence of Turkish-German literature.

Ela E. Gezen is Associate Professor of German at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Introduction
Intersections of Politics and Aesthetics: Bertolt Brecht in the Turkish Context
Didactic Realism: Aras Ören and Working-Class Culture
Staged Pasts: Emine Sevgi Özdamar's Dramatic Aesthetic
Conclusion
Bibliography
Notes
Index
"This cohesive, well-written, and overdue analysis examines the interconnections and intersections of Brecht's political aesthetics, Turkish theater, and Turkish-German literature . . . [and] is an invaluable asset to Brecht scholars, Ören scholars, Özdamar scholars, and all those working in German studies, theater and performance studies, Turkish-German studies, and especially on relationships and intersections between Turkish and German literature." Britta Kallin, FEMINIST GERMAN STUDIES
"Gezen's rich and informative book provides deep insights into Turkish-German cultural history, as seen through the lens of Bertolt Brecht...[A] book that can pave the path for new directions in German Studies and for a more global understanding of Brecht's aesthetics." Vera Stegmann, BRECHT YEARBOOK
"[T]he broader significance of this book for German studies [is that] by reading the work of Ören and Özdamar in the context of the Turkish Brecht reception and as a continued exchange in the realm of theater, Gezen seeks to shift 'our attention away from thinking about Turkish writers in Germany purely through the lens of labor migration' (106). As the quali?er 'purely' implies, Gezen thereby construes her study not as a rejection or downgrading of previous scholarship but, rightly, as a timely corrective to its dominant trajectory." Rob Burns, MONATSHEFTE
"[T]his valuable volume manages to do precisely what it sets out to: emphasizing the 'Turkish' in 'Turkish-German' while also painting a more comprehensive picture of Ören and Özdamar within their respective German communities and providing a far more detailed account of the cultural exchange and interchange . . . between Turkey and Germany in the second half of the twentieth century. . . [A]n indispensable volume for anybody researching Turkish-German theater or literature in this period." STUDIES IN 20TH- and 21ST-CENTURY LITERATURE
"[A]n original, comprehensive, inclusive, and engaging contribution. . . . By drawing on original archival research and convincing close readings through a Brechtian lens, Gezen offers a whole new framework for transcultural and transnational literary analysis both within German studies and beyond." Steffen Kaupp, GERMAN STUDIES REVIEW
"[P]ersuasively foregrounds the importance of theatre for our understanding of Turkish-German connections, and the work of Ören and Özdamar in particular. . . . [T]his book will be of interest to scholars and students working on Brecht's reception or on (Turkish-)German theatre and literature, and Gezen's translations and clear outline of Turkish politics make the . . . material under discussion accessible both to the majority of Germanists, who cannot read Turkish, and to English-speakers interested in transnational Theatre Studies." Joseph Twist, MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW
"This incisive study demonstrates that just as Turkish-German encounters prove surprisingly key to expanding our grasp of Brechtian theater as practiced and theorized in cold-war Germany, Brechtian theater also proves key to revising our understanding of the aesthetics and history of Turkish-German culture in and beyond Germany. Ela E. Gezen dramatically rewrites the foundational literary history of an era, with stunning consequences for literary analysis today. -" Leslie A. Adelson, Jacob Gould Schurman Professor of German Studies, Cornell University
"Gezen's study demonstrates that the theater is a particularly productive lens through which to view Turkish-German (cultural) interchange." Paula Hanssen, COLLOQUIA GERMANICA

Hardcover

9781640140240

April 2018

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9781787441965

April 2018

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Title Details

174 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

14 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture

Imprint: Camden House