Edited By Tom Cheesman and Karin E. Yeşilada
This volume features the suppressed original first chapter of Leyla, Zaimoglu’s critically and commercially most successful novel, first published in 2006, as well as an extensive interview with the author. Critical essays on his writing by major scholars in the field cover issues of gender, language and power, the politics of ethnicity, religion, Romanticism and anti-modernism, and the challenges of translating his work. This is the first volume of criticism in any language dedicated to Zaimoglu’s literary work.
Yasemin Yildiz Wordforce: Ethnicized Masculinity and Literary Style in Kanak Sprak and Koppstoff
Yasemin Yildiz Wordforce: Ethnicized Masculinity and Literary Style in Kanak Sprak and Koppstof f This essay revisits Feridun Zaimoglu’s early work and seeks to understand the similarities and dif ferences between his ‘male’ and ‘female’ books of the 1990s: his breakthrough volume Kanak Sprak: 24 Mißtöne vom Rande der Gesellschaft [≈ Spik-speak: Twenty-four discords from the edge of society] (1995) and his third book Koppstof f: Kanaka Sprak vom Rande der Gesellschaft [≈ Heidgear: Women-Spik-speak from the edge of society] (1998).1 At first sight these books share many stylistic and formal charac- teristics that make them appear as simply two versions of the same project, namely provocative and assertive representations of young Turkish-German men and women ‘in their own voices’. Both titles mobilize a contracted ver- sion of the racist slur ‘Kanake’ as a defiant self-description and assert that they speak critically from the ‘edge’. Both books consist of short first-person monologues in which subjects who are rarely heard in the German public speak about German society and their lives within it in a confrontational and critical manner. Furthermore, each book begins with a monologue by a rapper, and includes one figure with religious orientation (an ‘Islamist’ and a devout Muslim woman, respectively), a number of sex workers (a gay male hustler, a gigolo, a pimp and a female prostitute), as well as fig- ures dealing with the literal dirt of society (a garbage man and a clean- ing woman, respectively). Many of these monologues are written in what...
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