Cem Bico / Liberating Narratives of Yasar Kemal: The Other Face of the Mountain Trilogy

An abstract of the thesis of Cem Bico for the degree of Master of Arts from the Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History to be taken June 2006

Liberating Narratives of Yasar Kemal: The Other Face of the Mountain Trilogy

This thesis aims to show how the novels of Yasar Kemal comprising The Other Face of the Mountain trilogy—The Wind from the Plain (1960), Iron Earth, Copper Sky (1963) and The Undying Grass (1968)—function as “liberative narratives.” After a literature review focusing on the interpretations of the author’s works based on the concept of reality and his own assertions regarding the issue, an analysis of the novels under focus provides the characteristics of the social setting in the novels and the themes whereby the liberating effect is created. Finally, the basic principles underlying the liberating qualities of the narratives are shown through an analysis of how they are constructed and related to the social context and how these narratives call the readers for political activity. It is argued that the covering of subjectivities of the protagonists—and culture as the subjectivity of the community—as factors making the objective reality in various ways, enables the author to convey the possibility of human agency. This approach sees culture as a practice. Moreover, the actualization of moral tensions within the narrative, which are formed around humanist-socialist social values, also serves to the liberating ends of the author by allowing him to convey an ethical stance that is necessary for a notion of liberation. These novels of Yasar Kemal function as liberating narratives in portraying a reality made by human beings, a socialist ethics that is actual and through the use of experience-oriented formal literary tools.

Atatürk Ilkeleri Inkilap Tarihi Enstitüsü’nde Yüksek Lisans derecesi için Cem Bico tarafindan Haziran 2006’da teslim edilen tezin kisa özeti

Yasar Kemal’in Özgürlestirici Anlatilari: Dagin Öte Yüzü Üçlüsü

Bu tez Yasar Kemal’in Dagin Öte Yüzü üçlüsünü olusturan romanlarinin—Ortadirek (1960), Yer Demir Gök Bakir (1963) ve Ölmez Otu (1968)—nasil “özgürlestirici an-latilar” olarak isledigini göstermeyi amaçlamaktadir. Yazarin çalismalarina iliskin gerçeklik kavrami çerçevesindeki yorumlari ve konuya iliskin yazarin kendi açikla-malarini içeren bir literatür taramasindan sonra, odaklanilan romanlarda özgürlestiri-ci etkinin yaratildigi toplumsal dekor ve izleklerin özellikleri çözümlendi. Son ola-rak, anlatilarin nasil kurgulandigi, toplumsal baglamla nasil iliskilendirildikleri ve okuru siyasi eylemsellige nasil çagirdiklari çözümlenerek özgürlestirici özelliklerinin altinda yatan temel ilkeler gösterilmistir. Anlatida kahramanlarin öznelliklerinin—toplulugun öznelligi olarak da kültürün—nesnel gerçekligi farkli yollarla olusturan unsurlar olarak içerilmesinin, yazara insan failliginin olanakliligini gösterme imkani tanidigi iddia edilmistir. Bu yaklasim kültürü de praksis olarak görmektedir. Ayrica, anlatilarda hümanist-toplumcu toplumsal degerler etrafinda örülmüs ahlaki gerilim-lerin güncel kilinmasi da bir özgürlesme fikri için zorunlu olan etik durusu iletme-sini saglayarak yazarin özgürlestirme amacina hizmet etmektedir. Yasar Kemal’in bu romanlari, gerçekligi insanlar tarafindan olusturulur ve toplumcu bir ahlaki güncel göstererek ve deneyim odakli edebi biçimleri kullanarak özgürlestirici anlatilar ola-rak islemektedirler.