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Felâtun Bey and Râkım Efendi
An Ottoman Novel

Ahmet Midhat Efendi

Translated from the Turkish by Melih Levi and Monica M. Ringer

Afterword by A. Holly Shissler

Paper $14.95    |    978-0-8156-1064-9    |    2016

ebook 978-0-8156-5363-9

"A fascinating historical artefact...Felâtun Bey and Râkım Efendi by Ahmet Midhat Efendi is one of the earliest examples of the Ottoman novel and it is today seen by many as the representative work of its era"—Times Literary Supplement

"Midhat’s narrative is thoroughly and consistently irreverent—it is the kind of novel Czech author Milan Kundera would surely like because of its imperfections, unwavering innovations and hilarious blend of different types of writing."—Daily Sabah

"Almost a century and a half after its publication in Ottoman Turkish, Efendi’s short novel, Felatun Bey and Rakim Efendi, is still an enchanting read....A unique, entertaining and enlightening book."—The Jordan Times

"Ahmet Midhat, among other things, invented the East-West novel, which later became a genre in Istanbul. This is his most humorous, strange, and interesting book."—Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize–winning author of My Name Is Red

"Felâtun Bey and Râkım Efendi is a seminal work by one of the most prolific first wave Tanzimat writers."—Iclal Vanwesenbeeck, associate professor of renaissance and Middle Eastern literature, SUNY Fredonia

"One of the first novels written in Turkish. Lots of fun to read. Midhat dominated the literary scene in Istanbul towards the end of the nineteenth century. This is his most symptomatic novel about people caught between two cultures, east and west."—Nüket Esen, Bogazici University

"Ahmet Midhat was the initiator and the popularizer of the novel in Turkey. Felâtun Bey and Râkım Efendi illustrates the author’s reformist zeal as the guardian of traditional morals and manners at a time of cultural and epistemological transition."—Jale Parla, Istanbul Bilgi University

  Felâtun Bey and Râkým Efendi


Podcast: Translating the Ottoman Novel with Melih Levi

  Ahmet Midhat Efendi (1844–1912) was a journalist, novelist, playwright, translator, and social critic who authored more than two hundred original works. He wrote for and edited the Tercümani Hakikat, the most influential and longest-running Ottoman newspaper. Melih Levi received his BA from Amherst College, where he studied English literature. Monica M. Ringer is professor of Middle Eastern history at Amherst College. She is the author of Pious Citizens: Reforming Zoroastrianism in India and Iran.

Book Description »

View other series books on Middle East Literature in Translation.

6 x 9, 176 pages, notes

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