Ali Murat Akser - The Lost Battle: Representations of the Intellectual in March 12 Novels

The Lost Battle: Representations of the Intellectual in the March 12 Novels

In this study, the revolutionary intellectual, as portrayed in the March 12 novels, is discussed. First, the intellectual is defined and the qualities of the revolutionary intellectuals in March 12 novels discussed. It is argued that they had a persistent criticism of the bourgeois class and sympathy for the underprivileged people. They had a mission to civilize and protect their people. Second, revolution and revolutionary ideals were discussed. The revolutionaries shape their identity as a reaction to authority and to their parents who are usually of Kemalist origin. They are assisted by a local intellectual instead. It is also argued that the revolutionaries in fact cannot agree on a shared definition of revolution. Third, the psychological breakdown of the revolutionary intellectual is discussed. They experience paranoia and feel guilty and hopeless. It is argued that they also think their failure was result of their fragmentation and because were so removed from the people. And finally, revolutionary women are discussed. The role of women in nation building process is mentioned and it is seen that Turkish women are used as ideological markers of modernity and did not fight for citizenship right like their European counterparts. Though they want to act on their own, they are prevented by a public patriarchy. Revolutionary women violate this code and are treated like prostitutes. Criticism of bourgeois women is noted in their depiction as perfect consumers. Also the contrast between the rural and urban women is described.

(Approved by Dr. Duygu Köksal,Prof. Dr. Zafer Toprak, Assoc. Nükhet Esen)