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Nomadologies is a complex and brilliant evocation of the fractured and hyphenated mindset of the contemporary Turkish writer and thinker. Erdag Göknar takes us on a dazzling virtual world tour encompassing history, aesthetics, and politics, from Bosnia to Chechnya to the Silk Road to Union Square and back to the place that was once the center of the civilized world, Istanbul/Constantinople. Turkophiles like myself have been waiting for years for Göknar to publish his findings from the multilayered world he inhabits, and here it is. This is a book I shall be returning to often.

—Richard Tillinghast, author of An Armchair Traveller’s History of Istanbul and cotranslator of Dirty August by Edip Cansever

The poems in Nomadologies connect moments of separation and union in a life lived between Turkey and America. Taking its organizing principle from the grammar of nomadic life, Nomadologies reveals that mobility is the most efficient strategy for sustaining contradictory existences. Here, we learn that poetry is a landscape of inhabitation, and perpetual exile is one's home.

Erdag Göknar is a scholar, writer, and translator. He is best known for his award-winning translation of Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk's novel My Name Is Red. He is a faculty member at Duke University where he researches, teaches, and writes on Turkish Studies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781933527871
Publisher: Turtle Point Press
Publication date: 04/11/2017
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 1,180,878
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Erdag Göknar is best known for his award-winning translation of Orhan Pamuk's historical novel MY NAME IS RED, which marked Pamuk's emergence as an author of world literature and opened the way to his selection as Nobel laureate in 2006. The best selling novel was reissued in 2010 as part of the Everyman's Library Contemporary Classics series. Göknar is also the translator of A.H. Tanpinar's iconic novel of Istanbul, A MIND AT PEACE, and Atiq Rahimi's anti-war novella set in Afghanistan, EARTH AND ASHES. He is a faculty member at Duke University where he researches, teaches, and writes on Turkish cultural studies. His translations have earned him the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award and two NEA Translation fellowship grants. His critical literary study, ORHAN PAMUK, SECULARISM, AND BLASPHEMY: THE POLITICS OF THE TURKISH NOVEL (Routledge 2013), argues that conflicting tropes of Turkish Islam and state secularism give Pamuk's work currency as world literature. Göknar's poetry collection, NOMADOLOGIES (Turtle Point, 2017), establishes a first poetics of Turkish-American diaspora.

Table of Contents


Part I The Silence Between Words is Sacred

The Unjoined 1

Ibrahim/Abraham 3

Ulviye Pours Water 6

Object Lessons 12

Nomadology 1 Crossing the Desert of Lop 20

The City without Voice 21

Brooklyn Bridge, 1961 22

The Unseen (Ghayb) 23

Elegy for Baba; or, Fenâ and Bekâ 25

Scattering Light 30

Part II Figures and Fragments

The Cadaver, 1949 33

Yarkent, 1329 Anno Hegirae 34

Portrait of a Chechen (Istanbul) 37

The Honey Collector Waters My Blood (Artvin, Turkey) 38

An Erzurum Landscape Watered with Blood 39

Ethnically Cleansed Village of Stupni Do, Bosnia 40

The Second Coming of Brood 19 Cicadas 41

Pleiades 43

The Resurrection and the Life 45

The Sacrifice of Isaac Writ Small 47

The Gathering 48

On Translation 50

Orientalia: An Italian in Algiers 51

The Scorpion and the Nightingale (Kanlica, Istanbul) 52

Death in the Palace 53

Fragment: The Throat of the Earth 54

The Frenectomy; or, Vampires and Turks 55

Elegy for the Mechanical Turk, 1769-1854 56

Part III Nomadologies

Sella Turcica; or, the "Turkish Saddle" 61

Nomadology 2 Tamerlane 62

Nomadology 3 Peripheries 63

Nomadology 4 Homo Secularis 65

Time Moves Backward; or, the Scorpion and the Shearwater 66

Nomadology 5 Between Troy and Gallipoli (Western Anatolia) 67

Odysseus's Scar 68

Fasa Fiso 69

Steppe Whiteness 70

Notes 73

About the Author 79

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