A Mind at Peace
A Mind at Peace
Archipelago, Hardcover, 9780979333057, 447pp.
Publication Date: January 2, 2009
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."
[A] masterpiece . . . [A] honeyed, searching, and melancholy epic . . . The novel is as much about its setting and colors as about the stories and wonderfully eccentric and varied panoply of characters . . . One of the 20th century's notable literary love stories and cultural watersheds.—The Los Angeles Times
The greatest novel ever written about Istanbul. —Orhan Pamuk
Written by the man who almost single-handedly defined the modern Turkish novel, A Mind At Peace follows a group of westernized, urban intellectuals in 1930s Istanbul as they drift through the city in a permanent state of ennui, seemingly caught between the past and the present, tradition and modernity, the East and the West.—Reza Aslan
A beautifully melodic picture of Istanbul and the Bosphorus during a crossroad of Turkish and world history. We shouldn’t have had to wait this long for such an important work.—Literary Fiction Review
His great novel combines the emotional storminess of Dostoevsky with the refined artificiality and cruel psychological analysis of Marcel Proust.—Ha'aretz