CITY, HISTORY AND LITERATURE: REFLECTIONS ON CHARLES DICKENS AND ORHAN KEMAL

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Number of pages: 83-89
Year-Number: 2021-39

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Abstract

The concept of the city has played a vital and dominant role since the rise of civilizations. Cities are not only places where people live but also places which shape and give them their identities. Moreover, they are the witnesses of the past, present, and future; consequently, they come into existence with their histories, identities, and societies. Literature practices on many multi -layers, cities and their histories are the tools that inspire, harbor, and mirror it substantially. Cities, which are the subject matters of the novels, stories, epics, and plays, are indispensable literary instruments of writers. Two of the most outstanding and notable of these writers are Charles Dickens and Orhan Kemal. Dickens, who lived in 19th century Britain, sets the city of London and its transformation in hi s certain works. The Great British Empire, the leading country with the advent of the industrial revolution, gained significant momentum in industry and technology; on that account, the empire experienced radical changes in every sense. These changes also had great impacts on the social, economic, and cultural structures of the cities. London, one of the most affected cities, was handled and described in detail by Dickens. Despite not being a contemporary of Dickens, Orhan Kemal, whose subject matters and character types are similar, is one of the writers who emphasize Adana and depicts its changing socioeconomic aspects. Kemal, who wrote in a period when Turkey was undergoing radical changes and transformations, underscored the impacts and consequences of these changes and transformations on Adana in particular works. This study investigates the city, city-literature relationship and Charles Dickens’s London and Orhan Kemal's Adana.

 

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