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Abstract

This dissertation seeks to examine these changing spatial logics of novels written at the neoliberal turn, many of them during times of political strife and military occupation. In the novels I analyze—by Adalet Ağaoğlu, Orhan Pamuk, Nazlı Eray, Bilge Karasu, Latife Tekin, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, and Elif Şafak—space, variously architectural, geographic, and surreal—overshadows the narrative’s bumbling and automatonish characters, becoming in a way the main character itself, as it slides from miniscule to vast, from still to dynamic. Set in the depoliticized and neoliberal spaces of the 1980s and 90s, these novels thus give the “spectralized non-place” of Turkish literature in the global canon a new resonance, inviting us to fashion a more robust theory of what literary space “is,” and what it has to say about social spaces of the world that resist reification.

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