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Feridun Zaimoglu


Edited By Tom Cheesman and Karin E. Yeşilada

Feridun Zaimoglu made a spectacular entrance onto the German cultural scene in 1995 with Kanak Sprak: a volume of incendiary texts based on interviews with disaffected Turkish German youths, using an invented, stylized literary language, a hybrid of multiple varieties of German with a hip hop beat. A prolific and acclaimed novelist, dramatist, newspaper columnist, visual artist and live performer, Zaimoglu has remained in the public eye through controversy and reinvention. His more recent work appropriates German literary traditions in radically new ways, adapting Romantic styles, narrative forms and motifs to postmodern conditions.
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.


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A Note on Citation and Translation


In order to make this book accessible to readers without f luent German, all quotations are given in English. In the case of Feridun Zaimoglu’s own or co-authored writings, we also give the original German. All translations are by Tom Cheesman, unless otherwise indicated. Zaimoglu’s major book publications are listed below in chronological order, alongside the short titles which will be cited in this book for con- venience, and translations of the titles. Short title First publication Translation Kanak Sprak Kanak Sprak. 24 Mißtöne vom Rande der Gesellschaft. Hamburg: Rotbuch, 1995. ≈ Spik-speak: Twenty-four discords from the edge of society Abschaum Abschaum. Die wahre Geschichte des Ertan Ongun. Hamburg: Rotbuch, 1997. Scum: The true story of Ertan Ongun Koppstof f Koppstof f. Kanaka Sprak vom Rande der Gesellschaft. Hamburg: Rotbuch, 1998. ≈ Heidgear: Women-Spik-speak from the edge of society Liebesmale Liebesmale, scharlachrot. Roman. Hamburg: Rotbuch, 2000. Love brands, scarlet. Novel German Amok German Amok. Roman. Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2002. German amok. Novel Leinwand Leinwand. Roman. Hamburg: Rotbuch, 2003 Canvas. Novel Zwölf Gramm Zwölf Gramm Glück. Erzählungen. Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2004. Twelve grams of happiness. Stories xii A Note on Citation and Translation Leyla Leyla. Roman. Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2006. Leyla. Novel Rom Rom intensiv: Mein Jahr in der ewigen Stadt. Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2007 Rome intensive: My year in the eternal city Liebesbrand Liebesbrand. Roman. Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2008. Love-blaze. Novel Hinterland Hinterland. Roman. Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2009. Hinterland. Novel Ruß Ruß. Roman. Cologne: Kiepenheuer & Witsch,...

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