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Environment and Fiction

Critical Readings

Edited By Özden Sözalan and Inci Bilgin Tekin

The essays in this volume engage with questions concerning the relationships between fictional texts and environmental issues in their various articulations, and offer critical readings that display the theoretical diversity in the current reconsiderations of the place of human in relation to nature and the environment. Written by scholars working in separate yet closely related disciplines in the field of humanities, the essays present analyses of literary and cultural texts, performed with the critical tools provided by studies in ecology, ecofeminism, urban studies, posthumanism and animal studies as well as genre-specific approaches.

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Embodied Anthropocentrism in Anatolian Novel and Film (Nilay Kaya and Ekin Gündüz Özdemirci)

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Nilay Kaya and Ekin Gündüz Özdemirci

The first discussions of environmental justice in Turkish cultural scene in the early years of Turkish Republic appeared in the late 1950s, under the influence of social realist movement both in literature and film. Drawing upon the subject of ‘right to water’, Dry Summer is one of the first examples in Turkish film and literature that explore the issue of social justice from an environmental justice perspective. In this comparative analysis of the novella and the film we will discuss the treatment of environmental issues in social realist works, and comment on the ethical understanding of non-human nature in a period that is largely unexplored within ecocriticism studies in Turkey.

Necati Cumalı’s Dry Summer has not been studied through an ecological approach so far, yet there has been some mention of its premonition that within years to come water would exceedingly turn into a private property, in parallel with the increase of deforestation and draught.1 Considering today’s extreme global manipulation of water resources in the form of dams, reservoirs, canals or expanded bottled water markets, and the obstructing effects of hydroelectric power plants on natural habitats, which is a highly up-to-date local problem in Turkey, Dry Summer deserves to be studied in terms of its plot. But the main question here is how far does Dry Summer actually present, predicate or draw attention to an ecological problem “of an entire agricultural village faced with water shortage”.

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