• Sezen Ismail International Balkan University, Skopje


translation, politics, identity, nationality


The most innovative writers of contemporary literature write outside the borders of their homeland, and most often from diaspora, in a second or third language. In Writing Outside the Nation (2014), Azade Seyhan explains the domain of transnational poetics in which they are created, interpreting diasporic literatures as condensed archives of cultural and linguistic memory that gives integrity to the past as a result of any past migration. (Seyhan, 2014). Namely, she believes that narratives are a product of crossing borders that cannot be limited within national boundaries, languages and literary and critical traditions. Such narratives seek to name and configure cultural and literary editions that would become part of "new forms of inter / transcultural dialogue". Azade consciously argues that such a task is not at all easy because "the heterogeneity of culture is a result of interaction, contention, and possibly confrontation", adding that in such a chaotic and dynamic world that is constantly moving "culture [...] is shifting from inert local substance in a rather changing form of difference” (Seyhan, 2014: 4). Seyhan also raises several questions in her study concerning "linguistic and cultural transposition that implicitly or explicitly arise as part of writing outside the nation." Namely, she asks: "What happens to the memory of a nation that is outside (or without) that nation? How is national identity transformed into the modern world of constant geographic displacement?” (20). Senem Aydin notes that in recent decades the number of works for Turkey and Europe, ie the West, has increased, especially as a result of the aspirations of the Republic. Turkey to join the European Union. To that end, Aydin adds that interdisciplinary approaches to international relations have been on the rise since the late 1990s. Hence, such constructivism leads to more serious engagement with history, sociology and anthropology in order to understand and explain international politics (Aydin-Duzgit, 2019). The Saint of Incipient Insanities / Araf is a novel that simultaneously celebrates and criticizes the pursuit of a relationship that transcends the boundaries of national identity. It challenges our uncritical inclination towards the "clusters" within which we identify, and opens up new worldviews and opportunities for different ways of connecting with others. However, it can also be seen that the novel cannot, however, be completely freed from the constraints of the "nation"; rather, it reproduces the idea of national unity between the author and the work and his / her "homeland", especially when it comes to authors who have penetrated the international, ie, American publishing market. Nor can it be fully argued that it makes the use of English problematic and therefore politicized, since in that case both readers in the United States and the reading body in Turkey would benefit from such an approach. Through her novel, she has the chance to challenge the English readership's "easy tolerance" of the "other" by hampering the English-language ideological struggle in Turkey.




How to Cite

Ismail, S. (2019). THE TRANSLATION AS A POLICY OF THE NATIONAL IDENTITY IN THE NOVEL BY ELIF SHAFAK. KNOWLEDGE - International Journal, 35(6), 1931–1936. Retrieved from