Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Ph.D. Candidate, Matthew Chovanec, publishes translation

Fri, December 7, 2018
Ph.D. Candidate, Matthew Chovanec, publishes translation
The book was first written in Armenian in 1988 before being translated into Turkish in 1992 and Kurdish in 1999. This English edition is the first English-language title to be published by Aras, a feisty Istanbul-based publishing house that has been a window into Armenian literature since its founding in 1993. It is a charming, poignant collection of 11 stories and autobiographical reflections.
The style of the writing is direct and colloquial, giving the sense of a traditional local tale-teller holding court. Stories link from one to the next and the same characters reappear across multiple pieces. Some of the stories seem fictionalized, some are a direct memoir. An Anatolian Babel emerges from the pages, with characters having daily conversations in three languages.
“Infidel Quarter” was first published in the early 1990s. Margosyan was nostalgically remembering a sepia-tinged childhood at a time when the area was descending into the nadir of conflict between Turkish security forces and the PKK. Today, at yet another grim time, the book again makes for a moving read. ----Text excerpt from Hurriyet Daily News
Matthew Chovanec is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies. He is currently writing his dissertation on the role of language ideology on the novel in Egypt and Turkey. He tweets at @al_mutaghatris. 
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