A Mind at Peace
Publication Date: January 2, 2009
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Set on the eve of World War II, "A Mind at Peace" captures the anxieties of a Turkish family facing the difficult reality entrenched in the early republic, founded on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923. Poetically drawing on the effects of cultural upheaval on the individual, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar illuminates the precarious balance between tradition and modernity, East and West.Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar has been noted as the most prominant Turkish novelist of the twentieth century. Born in Istanbul, he traveled widely in Anatolia before returning to Istanbul in 1919, after the First World War, to study literature with the poet laureate Yahya Kemal. Deeply influenced by Paul ValEry and Bergson, Tanpinar created a cultural universe in his work, bringing together Western forms of writing and the sensibilities of a decadent Ottoman culture. He taught aesthetics, mythology, and literature at the University of Istanbul.Erdag GOknar is assistant professor of Turkish Studies at Duke University. He holds an MFA in creative writing and a Ph.D. in Near and Middle East Studies. He received, with Orhan Pamuk, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his English translation of Pamuk's "My Name is Red" in 2003. He is also the recipient a Fulbright fellowship and an NEA translation grant for "A Mind at Peace."
Ahmet Hamdi Tanipar (1901-1962) was a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, literary historian, member of the Turkish parliament, and professor at Istanbul University. Deeply influenced by Valéry and Bergson, he created a cultural universe in his work, bringing together a European literary voice and the sensibilities of Istanbul cosmopolitanism. His work, notable for its aesthetic complexity and its vivid descriptions of a lost Ottoman world, was rediscovered a decade after his death. He is considered one of the most significant Turkish novelists of the 20th century and is credited as an influence on many Turkish writers, including Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk. His work has been translated into more than 25 languages.
Translator: Erdag Göknar is an assistant professor of Turkish Studies at Duke University. He is the translator of Orhan Pamuk?s historical novel, My Name is Red, which received the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2003. He is also the recipient of an NEA translation grant for A Mind at Peace.