A Mind at PeaceBook - 2008
Set on the eve of World War II, "A Mind at Peace" captures the anxieties of a Turkish family facing the difficult reality entrenched in the early republic, founded on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in 1923. Poetically drawing on the effects of cultural upheaval on the individual, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar illuminates the precarious balance between tradition and modernity, East and West.Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar has been noted as the most prominant Turkish novelist of the twentieth century. Born in Istanbul, he traveled widely in Anatolia before returning to Istanbul in 1919, after the First World War, to study literature with the poet laureate Yahya Kemal. Deeply influenced by Paul ValEry and Bergson, Tanpinar created a cultural universe in his work, bringing together Western forms of writing and the sensibilities of a decadent Ottoman culture. He taught aesthetics, mythology, and literature at the University of Istanbul.Erdag GOknar is assistant professor of Turkish Studies at Duke University. He holds an MFA in creative writing and a Ph.D. in Near and Middle East Studies. He received, with Orhan Pamuk, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his English translation of Pamuk's "My Name is Red" in 2003. He is also the recipient a Fulbright fellowship and an NEA translation grant for "A Mind at Peace."