‘Freudism’ and Modernity: Transcultural Impact of Psychoanalysis in the Modern Turkish Novel

Article Summary by Burcu Alkan

“‘Freudism’ and Modernity: Transcultural Impact of Psychoanalysis in the Modern Turkish Novel” looks at ‘Freudism’ as an intellectual contact zone in the discussions of Turkish modernisation as represented in two novels: Matmazel Noraliya’nın Koltuğu (1949, The Armchair of Mademoiselle Noralia) and Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü (1962, The Time Regulation Institute, 2014). Focusing on these novels, it examines how the novelists (Peyami Safa and Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, respectively) utilise the early, and somewhat stereotypical images of Freudian epistemology in order to critique the broader presumptions concerning modernity in the first half of the twentieth century. The article underlines the significance of the image of psychoanalytical theory in Turkish modernity as explored in the literary sphere, despite its rejection by the medical circles at the time. The aim of the study is to look at the cultural perceptions and understandings of psychoanalysis as a medical epistemology and note the conflicts and convergences of the paralleling discourses of modernity in medicine and literature. The article serves as a foundation for further research on the cultural perceptions of psychiatry in Turkey.


Read the full article on the Medical Humanities journal website.


Portrait of Burcu AlkanBurcu Alkan is a fellow of the Europe in the Middle East – the Middle East in Europe programme at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin. She is a literary scholar who works in the field of medical humanities with a focus on psychiatry and literature.

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