Tanpınar Days

This month we have chosen three books by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, a writer with a special place in Turkish literature.

The Novel
The Time Regulation Institute
Translated into many different languages, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s novel, ‘The Time Regulation Institute’, is based on an allegorical irony. The deep dichotomies between east and west and between the individual and society are depicted in the book through an institute, the precise usefulness of which is unclear. Indeed, these dichotomies are not only depicted, they are resolved.

The Poetry
The Complete PoemsAhmet Hamdi Tanpınar was in pursuit of ‘absolute beauty’ in his poetry. Themes such as time, truth, sleep and dream seem to be distilled through an alembic in these poems, which evoke a metaphysical frisson in the reader. All the poems, both the finished and the unfinished, by this perfectionist poet are included in the volume.
The Essay
Five Cities
When describing Ankara, Erzurum, Konya, Bursa and Istanbul in his book, Five Cities, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar paints one by one, in his own inimitable style, pictures of the flow of civilization as lived in Anatolia. The language of these texts, which bear witness to the poet Tanpınar’s analytical side, is of a very different beauty.