Oğuz Atay: Tutunamayanlar (The Disconnected)

The latest addition to my website is Oğuz Atay‘s Tutunamayanlar (The Disconnected). This is the great Turkish post-modernist novel which, sadly, only appeared (and quickly disappeared) in English in a print run of 200 copies in 2017. Superficially, it is the story of a Turkish engineer, Turgut, who is trying to find out about a friend who allegedly committed suicide. In his investigations, he finds that the man, Selim, to whom he thought he was very close, had numerous friends of which he knew nothing. Selim was a big reader and we delve into his complicated reading (only introductions to books) and writing (an Encyclopaedia of the Turkish Disconnected, i.e. those who do not fit in and who often fail in their endeavours, of which Selim numbers himself). Turgut is also considering writing: a novel of the sighs of a tortured soul. And then Turgut disappears. Game playing is also key to the book. The book has been called the Turkish Ulysses and while it is not Ulysses, it is certainly the Turkish post-modern classic. It is sad that it is not readily available in English, as it should be.

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