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The Uses of First Person Writings / Les usages des écrits du for privé

Africa, America, Asia, Europe / Afrique, Amérique, Asie, Europe


Edited By François-Joseph Ruggiu

This book considers first-person writing and the related questions of the formation of the self, the rise of the individual and the private/public debate, and places these considerations within a multicultural perspective. It compares the characteristics of European or Occidental personal writings (such as diaries, memoirs and autobiographies) with the written forms of personal, intimate and autobiographical self which have existed and continue to exist within various Asian, African or Near Eastern cultures. The book constitutes a call for a global history of personal writing.
Ce livre s’intéresse, dans une perspective multiculturelle, à l’écriture de soi, et aux questions connexes de la formation même du soi, de l’émergence de l’individu ou encore du débat sur l’apparition des sphères privées et publiques. Il compare les caractéristiques de l’écrit personnel tel qu’il a eu cours en Europe ou dans les pays occidentaux (comme les journaux intimes, les mémoires, les autobiographies, entre autres) avec les formes écrites du soi personnel, intime ou autobiographique telles qu’elles ont pu exister, et existent, dans différentes cultures asiatiques, africaines ou proches-orientales. Ce livre lance également un appel pour une histoire globale des écrits personnels.


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Secrets of the Ottoman Lives? Ottoman Turkish Biographical Dictionaries and Dream Narratives - Asli Niyazioğlu


191 Secrets of the Ottoman Lives? Ottoman Turkish Biographical Dictionaries and Dream Narratives Asli NIYAZIOĞLU1 Koç University, Istanbul “I can call spirits from the vast deep” boasts one of Shakespeare’s characters in Henry IV “Why, so can I, or so can any man” answers his companion, “but will they come when you do call for them?” (Greenblatt, 2000, 29; 1988, 1) Greenblatt cites this dialogue in Practicing Historicism while discussing his desire to speak with the dead. As an Ottoman historian working on the same period as Greenblatt, I also call on the Ottoman dead although I find engaging in a conversation with them particularly difficult. The main challenge, compared to early modern European studies, is our limited knowledge of the ways in which the Ottomans talked about themselves. Understanding Ottoman self-narratives requires a suspension of our contemporaneous expectations from autobiography, but until recently we have rarely looked beyond them. We have yet to explore the Ottoman conventions of life-writing and the many ways Ottomans talked about themselves (Terzioğlu, 2007). Dreams in Ottoman biographical dictionaries are particularly appealing for this exploration. I am interested in them for two main reasons. First, the dream stories present unique views regarding Ottoman life stories (Kafadar, 2009; Felek, 2010). When we think about an Ottoman life story, we tend to concentrate on this-worldly engagements of the Ottomans and often ignore their other-worldly experiences which transgress the limits of this world. Yet, for an Ottoman biographer, experiences such as dreams and visions played...

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