Brechtian Influence in Two Novels by Emine Sevgi Özdamar
Galloway, Eric Michael
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CitationGalloway, Eric Michael. 2010. Brechtian Influence in Two Novels by Emine Sevgi Özdamar. Master's thesis, Harvard University, Extension School.
AbstractThis study investigates the influence of Bertolt Brecht's ideas of Verfremdungseffekt, political theater, and epic theater on the novelist, Emine Sevgi Özdamar. In her two novels, Life Is a Caravanserai Has Two Doors I Came in One I Went out the Other and The Bridge of Golden Horn, where can possible Brechtian influences be located? Based on what is known about Özdamar's biography, can one determine that direct influence exists? This investigation separates these two loosely autobiographical novels into four thematic categories: family and Turkish heritage, politics, sexuality, and artistic impressions including an emphatic focus on theater. Using these divisions, the study analyzes key excerpts from the novels to locate potential applications of a few Brechtian concepts: Verfremdungseffekt, political theater, and epic theater. To assist in this influence study, I employ a model in which the novels may be perceived as science experiments that seek to facilitate unbiased biography. Brecht's essay, "The Street Scene," which describes a process of recreating a real-life event in a theatrical setting for the purpose of performing an intellectual examination of the event, provides inspiration for the scientific experiment method of literary analysis. This study finds that Özdamar, indeed, utilizes Brechtian methods to create her poetic autobiography, and that she is likely inspired by her experiences participating in productions of Man Equals Man and The Caucasian Chalk Circle and by working closely with the theater director, Benno Besson. Brechtian influence in the novels runs parallel to signs that other forces simultaneously inform her writing (such as films by Jean-Luc Godard, the literature of Franz Kafka, Heinrich Heine, William Shakespeare, and Federico García Lorca, as well as oral Turkish fables told to her as a child by her elders). Furthermore, this study notes that the novels are actually literary versions of epic theater productions, where the author's use of imitation to re-experience and re-remember her past enables her to direct and perform in a re-invention of specific periods in her life.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367554
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