Resistance of the Postmodern Turkish Novel to the Return of Nationalism

  • Barış Yılmaz University of Szeged, Hungary


My aim in this paper is to survey the journey of Turkey’s postmodern historical fiction, referred to as “historiographic metafiction” by Linda Hutcheon (1988). This genre of postmodern fiction designates a narrative with two predominant features: (a) it is principally a retelling of a historical occurrence from a counter-position against the supposed factuality of the original story, and (b) it contains the self-reflexivity of its author, which enables him/her to question the boundary between fact and fiction, if there is any at all. Obviously, Hutcheon’s conception of this particular category of postmodern fiction was mainly derived from an approach which stresses inherent narratological characteristics in the writing of history, as argued by Hayden White and other historiographers. My research questions in this study are: How successfully is historiographic metafiction used by postmodernist writers in Turkish literature? When we consider the rise of nationalism in Turkey and in the world, can postmodern literature offer an alternative to authoritative discourses? Has postmodernism been able to challenge traditional representations in Turkey? An analysis of selected works of contemporary Turkish literature will supply an answer to these questions.