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Turkish Short Stories in The World Of English Translation

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No matter how old you are, reading a short story is entertaining. If you think about short stories, how many of you are familiar with the most important Turkish short story writers, and how many of you have read some of their stories already? Do you know how the English translations of Turkish short stories influenced the perception of Turkish culture in the world of literature? We suppose that most of you prefer to go with a novel these days because you might think that it looks fancier, especially when someone sees you with a novel rather than a short story. But we also know that you have a pile of novels in your library waiting to read, right? We also assume that you don’t come across short stories more often because novels are at the forefront for sure. For example, when you enter a bookshop to take a look at short stories, you have to make more of an effort to find them. But you know, Turkish short story writers have a huge impact on representing Turkish culture, identity, language, etc., in the world of literature. Also, the interesting and most common thing between these writers is not only their enormous talent for producing short stories, but they are also editors and translators. They are warriors, in a way. Perhaps that’s why they preferred to write everything down in a simpler way. So, in our article, we will introduce you to two of the most important Turkish short story writers, editors, and translators; Talat Sait Halman and Muzaffer Uyguner, and try to explain their impact on the global recognition of Turkish identity and culture.

 

The Representation of Turkish Short Stories in the World of English Literature

With the translations of Turkish short stories into English, Turkish authors, culture, identity, language, history, and writing techniques became more visible in the world and had a chance to be introduced to other cultures as well. During the 1980s, more than 40% of translated books worldwide were translated from English. However, according to the findings of various studies, few of these books belonged to minor languages. But, beginning in the 2000s, this proportion has increased, along with other minor languages, we see more translations of Turkish short stories into English. The Turkish language and Turkish short fiction writers had started to gain the attention they deserved. Most of these stories were published in magazines and websites at the time, and there were not enough studies and analyses of these marvelous works. Even so, these efforts helped to preserve the incredible, mystical writing techniques of Turkish short story writers and the varied genres that were used in these stories. To give you a quick overview of this entire journey, how Turkish short stories were represented in English, and by whom, we recommend you look at the works of two magnificent Turkish writers-editors and translators, Talat Sait Halman and Muzaffer Uyguner.

Two Magnificent Turkish Short Story Writers, Poets, Translators, and Editors: Talat Sait Halman and Muzaffer Uyguner

Without the efforts of Talat Sait Halman and Muzaffer Uyguner in Turkish literature and language, the essence of Turkish literature and culture would not be so lively and fruitful. They were not only writers but also educators. First and foremost, they shared their own experiences with readers, and all of their works bear their signatures. Also, they didn’t just make tremendous efforts to bring their own writing techniques to the forefront. Their focus was on finding the best ways to integrate Turkish culture and language with others in the world and give the Turkish language a spirit. That’s why Talat Sait Halman and Muzaffer Uyguner were not only translators but were also cultural experts. We cannot include their vast contributions to our lives in this brief article; however, we recommend you check out their English translations of Turkish short story collections. One of them is “Sleeping in the Forest: Stories and Poems by Sait Faik”, edited by Talat Sait Halman and Jayne L. Warner. Also, Muzaffer Uyguner made great efforts to uphold the reputation of Sait Faik and wrote his bibliography. Unfortunately, this fascinating work by Uyguner has not been translated into English yet, but we hope that one of our readers will be inspired by this blog entry and translate the works of Sait Faik into English.

 

“Sleeping in the Forest: Stories and Poems” by Sait Faik “Bibliography of Sait Faik Abasıyanık” by Muzaffer Uyguner   
Turkish Short Stories in The World Of English Translation

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