About the novel Ikender Pala «Death in Babylon Love in Istanbul» | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»

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Рубрика: Филология, лингвистика

Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №40 (226) октябрь 2018 г.

Дата публикации: 10.10.2018

Статья просмотрена: 106 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Алиева, Туркан. About the novel Ikender Pala «Death in Babylon Love in Istanbul» / Туркан Алиева. — Текст : непосредственный // Молодой ученый. — 2018. — № 40 (226). — С. 217-221. — URL: https://moluch.ru/archive/226/52964/ (дата обращения: 27.02.2021).

The article discusses some aspects of the study of the famous Turkic poet Iskender Pal. It is noted that Iskender Pala chose a form of poetic presentation — Divan and the epic poem “Leyli and Majnun”, which is considered to be the creative peak of the great poet of Azerbaijan and the whole Turkic world — Mohammed Fizuli. It is also noted that Iskandar Pala is one of the most famous experts of the Divan poetry in Turkey and he is the author of dozens of books about Divan poetry, including “The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Divan Poetry (Ottoman Empire)”. It is emphasized that for many years he tried to educate Turkic readers, analyzing and interpreting samples of divan poetry in the press. The scientist, professor, who defended his doctoral dissertation on the life and creation of Love in the Turkic sofa poetry, taught university students the skills of classical poetry. In Turkey, Iskender Pala is considered to be “the person who makes people love couching poesia”.

Key words: Divan, poetry, tradition, art.

В статье рассматривается некоторые аспекты исследования знаменитого тюркского поэта Искендера Пала. Отмечается, что что в качестве темы своего романа Искендер Пала выбрал форму поэтического изложения — Дивана и эпическую поэму «Лейли и Маджнун», которая считается творческим пиком великого поэта Азербайджана и всего тюркского мира — Мухаммеда Физули. Так же отмечается, что Искендар Пала является одним из самых известных специалистов диванской поэзии в Турции и является автором десятков книг о диванской поэзии, в том числе «Энциклопедического словаря диванской поэзии (Османской империи)». Подчеркивается, что в течение многих лет он пытался воспитывать тюркских читателей, анализируя и интерпретируя образцы диванской поэзии в периодической печати. Ученый, профессор, защитивший докторскую диссертацию о жизни и создании Любви в тюркской диванной поэзии, учил студентов вузов навыкам классической поэзии. В Турции Искендер Пала считается «человеком, который заставляет людей любить диванной поэзии».

Ключевые слова: Диван, поэзия, традиция, искусство.

The appeal to such a topic comes from the mission carried by the writer to the artistic literature. In his articles and interviews, Iskender Pala repeatedly noted that the most important task of literature was to teach and educate the readers. For example, the following lines explicitly describe the writer's thought and expectation from the following novel at the same time: «In developing countries, teaching life comes after cultural life. Firstly, people want to possess cultural relations, and then they want to get knowledge if they find a door to science here. Especially in recent years, people spend much more on entertainment... As a literary man, my job is to entertain people, and to teach them even without being aware of it. The novels I write are some sort of textbooks, and I think about the different moments so that people are not loaded with the entertainment and excitement they want. However, the young men who read my novels know what they can learn from there. At least, they can learn the depths of love... «I explained the richness of Divan poetry in my novel, «Death in Babylon Love in Istanbul…" [2].

About seventy books of Iskender Pala were published in Turkey. The vast majority of these books are descriptive research on Divan literature, valuable encyclopedic dictionaries, narrative-type didactic stories, artistic miniatures, essays, interpretations of different beits and verses of ghazals and gasidas of classical Ottoman poets, and corner posts on culture and arts. The most important part of the artistic creativity of the artist is the creation of valuable novels such as «Babylon's Death, Love in Istanbul», «Katre-i Matem (Grief Drop) ", «Shah and Sultan», «Od» (Flame), «Efsane (Legend)", «Mehmandar». By the way, it is worth mentioning that the novel «Shah and Sultan» and «Od» was translated into our language by the well-known writer and translator, N.Abdurrahmanli and published in Baku.

Iskender Pala who was born in 1958, Ushak in Turkey graduated from primary School in Kutahya high school. He graduated from Istanbul University, Faculty of Letters Turkish Language and Literature Department in 1979, started working there, and continued his career at Istanbul Kultur University. For many years, he has been the leader and presenter of television programs «Shayrana» and «Divancha» and worked as an adviser on cultural issues in the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. He has been a lecturer at the Turkish Naval High School (1982–1996).

Iskender Pala defended his doctoral dissertation on the life and creativity of the Love of the Turkish Divan poet (1983), and he is the Professor (1998). The writer awarded with many prestigious awards was appointed as a Member of the Board of Directors of Ataturk Supreme Council for Culture, Language, and History by the Order of the Turkish President in 2011.

In the above interview, the writer pointed out, the main motive of «The Death in Babylon, Love in Istanbul» is an admiration to the Oriental poetry and Turkish Divan poetry, and the love to the artist who are accustomed to jewellery accuracy with the beauties of classical literature's declaration, meaning and word in the beit-based poems with couplets. More precisely, it is the aesthetic presentation of the Turkish Divan poetry to the reader through the artistic interpretation, analysis and explanation of all these.

The introduction of the Turkish Divan poetry in the novel begins with the presentation of the “Leyli and Majnun” essay to the Magnificent Sultan Suleiman, who wrote beautiful gazelles under the pseudonym “Muhibbi”. Iskender Pala describes the admiration of all the Turkish Divan artists who have the opportunity to read it from this first meeting and acquaintance of genius Fuzuli's epic poem, as well as the creativity of its author. The writer expresses the main attributes of classical poetry and art as well as analysis of works of Divan writers and interpretations and thoughts expressing their own attitudes towards the work and the author. At the same time, the corresponding sections of the poem “Leyli and Majnun” are compared with the texts from the most famous works of Divan poets, and impressions are mentioned. For example, in the novel, from the Magnificent Sultan Suleiman, he describes the difference towards view of the world between the Sultan of the Word and Sultan of Universe:

There is no legitimate thing like a state in the nation,

However, it is not like a bit of health...

The writer translates this novel from Ottoman Turkish (and all future texts) into a modern Turkish language so that readers can understand: “There is no valuable thing as being a sultan of humanity. However, it is not worth a breath in the world.” [1, p.117].

Later, a poem written in Azerbaijani Turkish was introduced to Mahmoud Adulbagi, an outstanding Divan poet of Istanbul in the 16th century, as well as the admirer of Fuzuli. The writer speaks of the great value given by Sultan Suleiman to Baqi, their friendship» and the «Kanuni’s Marsiyya (elegiac poem written to commemorate the martyrdom)" as one of the most influential in classical poetry by Adulbagi to Sultan Suleiman on his death. Love of this prominent poet to Fuzuli and admiration for his workmanship is expressed. Talking about the episode chosen related to the chapter, he talks about the story of “Crow and Nightingale», popular among the people, and helps the reader to conclude and get a warning in the story.

Activity of the great artist, master of gasida in the XVII century, Omar Nefi is estimated in the novel. It is known that the satirical trend that began with the Sheikhs (? -1431) and its famous “Harname” was brought to the peak with the art of Nefi in the Divan poem. Based on the Divan which consists of hadjvs of “Siham-i Kaza” («Accidental arrows») the satirical style and the genre of the hadjv are spoken about. As the proof of not being ready of society for criticism, word disputes and polemics between the poet and state officials are explained to the readers in concrete examples. As the painful consequence of writing satirically of mistakes in the public administration, injustice of Bayram Pasha, the Sheikhulislam, and even Sultan IV Murad that the artist is being killed by being drowned.

It is worth recalling the novel «The Three Daughter of Eve» by one of the well-known Turkish writer Elif Shafak who is approaching the same phenomenon in the same context. The main role of the work, Pari and his father, Mansur, have an interesting dialogue.

His father tells his daughter that some of the fish in the strait of Bosphorus are black, because Sultan IV Murad threw the body of Omar Nafi and his Divan the “Siham-i Kaza” into the waters of the strait because he was frightened by the anger of writer’s lovers. After that incident, such cases were repeated intensely at the time of the subsequent sultans. The reason why the flesh of the fish are black that they swallow the words with ink of the poets. Elif Shafak presents the main point of the story with the language of Mansur who had the unique worldview: “If the ignorance gets power, then you will be afraid…The world is powerful than ignorant people but how suffer from them.” [3, p.109].

The XVIII century Divan poetry in the novel is largely interpreted as the work of three great artists — Ahmed Nadim, Alaeddin Sabit and Sheikh Galib. The writer emphasizes that Divan poetry is not far from reality, and is not completely isolated from real life in the example of Nedim's activity. The poet's poetry is more analyzed in this novel from this point of view, exquisite nature paintings, magnificent historic sites and architectural monuments of Istanbul during the period of the Sultan III of Ahmed's «Tulip Period» (1718–1730), sightseeing of Dar Seadet (the second name of Istanbul which gives the meaning of «door for happiness”), direction of Sadaabad and visits of Bosphorus coastline with boats, is expressed by Istanbul beauties in its original genre of eastern songs of the Turkish Divan poetry. Unlike Nedim's predecessors, he is considered as the poet of entertainment, council, and wine. It is noted that the world's taste is important to him, and he believes that everything exists in this world, and he does not really care about the hereafter. In addition, the writer recalls the complex political and social environment of the era, the dissatisfaction of the people with the government, the unrest and the upheavals. It is said that between Nedim's beit «Istanbul is a unique city, soil of Iran is sacrifice to a part of stone of this city " and his tragic death there is a link. Pitifully, Nedim, the Istanbul lover, who cannot replace all the property of Adjem (Iran or all the foreign states) to a stone of Istanbul, is a victim of riot of Patrona Khalil in this city [1, p.324].

In the novel, the extracts from the works of poets show the issue of intensifying of the language and style of Divan poetry, increasing of Arabic-Persian words and expressions, aggravation of the extravagant metaphors and similes in this period. The features of style of «sebki-hindi» (the Indian style) emerged from the XVII-XVIII centuries in divan poetry (this style is created as a school in Iran literature and the most prominent representative of this school is SaibTabrizi), is explained on the basis of the activity of Sabit and Galib. Especially, keeping alive of the concept of poetry and Tasawwuf (Sufism), Mevlevi order are delivered to the reader in the framework of the latest version of the Husn-u Ashk («Beauty and Love»).

It is worth mentioning that Iskender Pala presents the development process of the Turkish Divan poetry and relations between different stages and poets, via the art of Fuzuli to the reader. For example, it is emphasized that Bagi, who was awarded the nickname «sultanush-shuara», wrote imitative poems to Fuzuli. Many of the poets of the palace enjoyed doing tarbi, takhmis, tasbi to Fuzuli's poems, writing imitative poems to his ghazals. His literary influence on his contemporaries and artists of later periods is mentioned, and the great poets such as Naili, Nadim and Sheikh Galib in XVII-XVIII centuries have expressed gratitude to the genius artist in his work. Although Ahmed Nedim has different views from Fuzuli in the philosophy of soul and life, but he also cannot escape from the influence of Fuzuli. Sheikh Galib's quotes from Fuzuli in his small-volume poems and the Husn-u-Ashk, taking advantage of the poet's lyricism, being closer to Fuzuli than his contemporary Nedim, seeking peace in a spiritual world as the Sufism Poet, the belief to the eternal world and the Hereafter Confidence are noted.

It is known that the Turkish Divan literature is full of poetic tricks related to the statement, especially with the main poetic tools, such as simile, metaphor, trope, irony. The essence of Divan poem consists of the word beauty, the form of the words and formations of poetic shapes, the form and meaning of the word (beauty of the soul). In the Divan poetry, poetic shapes are not limited to form, they also serve to polish the word literally, and as a melodic element, it further enriches the musicality of the rhyming poem. They have a melodic-rhythmic character as a pro-active element, and add harmony to the poem, in line with the beit or the pattern. The rich and unique poetic system, which forms the aesthetic basis of the Turkish Divan literature, is based on traditional Arabic and Persian literary samples and has been traditionally aesthetically different from the Greco-European poetic categories [5, p.56–57].

In the novel, all these subtleties of divan poetry are delivered to the reader through the explanations of specific texts and clauses, in which the tales of the Turkish writers and their distinctive features are expressed. The rich poetic categories and their varied types of Divan literature — the expression (teshbeh, istiare, mecaz, irony, tariz, teshkhis), beauties of meaning and sound (contradictory hyperbole, proportion, laff and nashr, tecdjahuli-arif, husni-telil, etc.) and all other artistic aspects of the word art are displayed

The writer follows the evolution and developmental stages of the Eastern poetry in the novel, and suggests that the Turkish divan poetry is formed on its own national ground, taking advantage of the general and universal culture of the poetry. Thus, he shares with his reader that he does not agree that some critics and philologists referred the poetry as formalism without analyzing the essence and depth of this poetry. The writer notes that, in fact, these poetic forms, artistic illustrations and expressions serve as important tools for the aesthetic of Divan poetry. These poetic categories, fascinating expression style, and the most complex metaphors render the text in the Turkish poetry, strengthen the emotional-expressiveness of the work, and increase its impact on the content and text in delivering to the reader.

The literary Divan educates its readers in a simple language about the meaning they have placed on the concept of the poets. It should be noted that Divan artists prefer to consider concealed idea behind the thought and speak with signs. This can only be achieved using artistic expression and visualization tools (for example, istiare, mecazi-mursel, husni-telil, tevriye, etc.). In the Divan poem, the original meaning, the difficulty of thought, originates from here. Most classical poetry artists are trying to express the same content in different forms, their desire to create a new artistic expression with their poetic tricks, the presence of a traditional image system, and a wide range of imitative poems.

The philosophy of Sufi (Tasawwuf), essence of Divan poetry in the novel, the evolution of this philosophy, the wide spread of Sufism among the Turks, the takingof Islamic culture and values not directly from the Arabs, as well as from Persians, national-cultural ground of creation of Arud (poetic meter) as a result of the influence of Persian artists, not Arab literature are given in the novel.

In the work of divan poetry, human values that rising from secularism to Sufism were described precisely through the mastery of Fuzuli and his hero Majnun's love. The writer interprets Fuzuli's and her hero's attitude to the world and to people, to worldly love and divine love. Iskender Pala who refers as the epigraph to the famous beit — «I have a talent of love from Majnun. I am a devoted of love, there is only the name of Majnun» recalled the analogy “eshk-sarmashik (love-bindweed)” of the great poet Mevlana Jalaleddin Rumi, who is the head of cradle of the Turkish Divan poetry: “Actually, Eshk (love) means bindweed in the dictionary”. As bindweed wrapped plane trees, love wraps brave men and women of a slender and graceful build. In addition, each bindweed eventually dried the tree. Outside was green and beautiful, but dried inside, dried, crumbled...!" [1, p.47].

The writer links the wisdom of these lines with the sad ending of Leyli and Majnun: «The great love of the two lovers ends with death, and Leyla and Majnun, who could not overcome the world, were walking around in the same grave [1, p.48].

There are dozens of beits voicing the attitude of Geis for pain of parting, grief of separation. The writer accompanied the grief of Majnun with Sabit's beit turning into the aphorism:

“The scientists of heavens, astronomers

They cannot know what the longest night is.

Ask the people who suffer from the love

How many hours the nights are” [1, p.211].

The novel explains the objective and subjective terms of the gradual recession of Divan poetry from the nineteenth century, giving its place to the western-style new poetry, promoting more prose genres especially in the second half of the century. The necessity of serious reforms in all spheres of the country's life, turning it into social demand is highlighted in the own way of Namik Kemal and Ziya Pasha. Along with the importance and value they give to the divan poetry, both intellectuals have been forced to live in exile in Europe, to meet with progressive intellectuals in Western countries, especially in France and England, to meet with prominent figures of the press, prominent artists, acquainted with realistic literature examples in the original and translation, etc. are described in persistent dyes.

We would like to note specially that there are two main aims of the novel -as the writer himself emphasizes, is to teach the Divan poetry to a modern reader and remind him of the purity and innocence of love. However, there is important essence of this work. In our opinion, Iskender Pala performs one of the principles of neo-traditional conservative art that he possess in his novel, as well as in other historical novels. The aim was to prevent forgetting of the history, culture and literature of the Ottoman Empire that has been overwhelmingly overthrown in most of the three continents and have been gradually forgotten and sometimes even criticized especially in the recent decades following the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. According to it, historical stream of the events in the novel was brought to the end of the 19th century. From the second half of the 19th century, the ideological struggle between the Turkish intelligentsia was given by the conservative divan poetry and by the representatives of western-oriented Tanzimat literature (Namig Kemal, Ziya Pasha and others). From this point of view, the pages confronting the examples of Divan poetry with the genres of prose (story, narrative, novel, drama, article) that are not in Turkish literature and publicity to that period are so remarkable. It is known that the most prominent intellectuals of the era have accepted the West's positive science and advanced technique, as well as they support to protect Ottoman-Islamic culture. The author noted Namig Kemal, the most Western-oriented artist, is still writing his poems in the divan poetry genres and in the epic of Arud (poetic meter).

The writer supports the idea of conservative intellectuals at the narration of his hero, expresses that the refinement and renewal of the national culture with the elements of the West is right. The religion does not contradict science, emphasizing the need to improve not with revolution but with evolution. Thus, the reader is addressed with such an important fact that it is incorrect to oppose innovation, change and progress, but it should not be forgotten about the glorious historical past and cultural heritage left behind in the novel.

There is a six-hundred-year Ottoman Empire and culture, an advanced language and classical Divan literature created in this language, outstanding artists and their magnificent artistic monuments, rich heritage and all of these have to be possessed. If these literary and cultural monuments are not taught to new generations, society will be get out of its roots. All these thoughts, on the one hand, Turkish-Islamic Union, on the other hand, are the essence of literary understanding of the conservative and new tradition writers who seek protection of the moral and aesthetic values of the past and enriching it with modern humanitarian intellect products in their works [6].

At the end of the novel, Gays is still acting as a narrator. The first lines of the last chapter show once again that the writer's intention was to deliver the readers magnificence of Turkish Divan poet, dignity of human and divine Love and make readers introduce, teach, and love Fuzuli who wants “the practice (to be sacrifice) of himself to be grief for a world full of sorrow, possessing no one to care”: “Who gave the name of Geis to me, I do not know; Well, who taught me love, I do not know too. Sir, I am the slave of Fuzuli... " [1, p.176].

We would like to note some few mistakes in the novel. In the beginning of the novel, we read: «As the number of those who visited him in the madrasah cell in Baghdad increased, he thought that he was cursed by the dagger burrowed in the mulberry tree [1, p.41]. However, the writer is likely to write the episodes of the novel for a long time, and then the mulberry tree turns into a plane tree: “Nobody can guess what I felt when I saw a dagger which Fuzuli burrowed at a plane tree in Baghdad.” [1, p.183].

The language of the novel is as elegant and poetic as the style of Turkish poetry, deserving a language the love of the poem «Leyli and Majnun» of Fuzuli, pure love of lovers with the versification of couplet. But in this novel related to divan poetry, it is possible not to use the words «incubator», «site chief», «formatting», «complex», «version».

Finally, in the novel, the title of «Lawmaker»(Ganuni) was not replaced by the name of Sultan Suleiman (years 1520–1566), known throughout the world and in historical sources as «Ganuni».

In the end, we would like to recall the literary credo of I. Pala. According to the writer, novels teach the reader the way to enjoy life and enjoy art. Philosophy, religion, science refer to certain principles, rules and theories, and the reader understands all these with logical judgments, arguments, and evidences. But more effective perception of life is possible with the artistic-aesthetic power of stories and novels. In our view, the way the writer chooses to teach and love the classic divan poetry is a successful.


  1. Iskender Pala. Death in Babylon Love in Istanbul. Istanbul, L & M broadcasts, 2003, 392 p.
  2. Interview with Iskender Pala. «Daily telegraph», 18 September 2012.
  3. Elif Shafak. Three Daughters of Eve. Istanbul, Doghan Kitap, 2016, 418 p.
  4. Gadimova S. Turkish Divan literature: poetic genres and art. Baku», Science and education», 2015, 136 p.
  5. http: //www.gelenektengelecege.com/besir-ayvazoglu-ile-mulakat
Основные термины (генерируются автоматически): XVII-XVIII, III, поэзия, Турция.

Ключевые слова

poetry, tradition, Divan, art

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