Ayfer Tunç’s Struggle with Modernism: Agency and Power Cover Image

Ayfer Tunç’un Modernizmle Derdi: Faillik ve İktidar
Ayfer Tunç’s Struggle with Modernism: Agency and Power

Author(s): Çimen Günay-Erkol
Subject(s): Social Philosophy, Novel, Turkish Literature, Hermeneutics
Published by: Celal Bayar Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü
Keywords: Ayfer Tunç; Hannah Arendt; modernism; agency; banality of evil;

Summary/Abstract: Ayfer Tunç, a prominent contemporary writer of Turkish literature, emphasizes the problems of modernism in her novels and presents the struggles of people alienated from the society and the nature in the modernizing world. In Tunç’s literature, themes such as “freedom”, “decision making” and “searching the truth” integrate with several social and political problems related with modernism and grow bigger. Public domain is taken into consideration, around these themes and as an attempt to create a common world. Tunç’s attempts to deal with modernism, requires a re-questioning of concepts such as “agency”, “power”, “public domain”, “evil”, “violence”, similar to that of Hannah Arendt who is one of the foremost thinkers of 20 the century that worked on social politics. In this article, Tunç and Arendt are brought into investigation to discuss the ways they treat the impasses of modernism. Arendt’s famus concept “banality of evil” took its place in history as an important criticism to modernism. Tunç’s 2014 novel Dünya Ağrısı (The World Pain) presents a fictional view of Arendt’s “banality of evil” while the writer’s 2009 novel Bir Deliler Evinin Yalan Yanlış Anlatılan Kısa Tarihi (The Unconfirmed Short History of a House for the Mad) brings the “banality of madness” to the fore. In this article, in the framework of her two novels, impasses of modernism, which Tunç fictionalizes with her unique style are presented and discussed in the light of Arendt’s critical thought.

  • Issue Year: 15/2017
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 349-362
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Turkish