Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar


One of the most important modern novelists and essayists of Turkish literature. Grew up with the Ottoman music and poetry, Tanpinar believed in intermingling forged by 'the institutions of Islam and the Ottoman empire.' In his novel 'A Mind at Peace' (1939) he attempts such synthesis with its most cherished character is Istanbul itself - the city's poor neighbourhoods, dramatic sunsets and long Ramadan evenings. He presciently feared that to embrace the western conception of progress was to be mentally enslaved by a whole new epistemology, one that compartmentalised knowledge and concealed an instrumental view of human beings as no more than things to be manipulated. Ahmet also served as a member in the Turkish parliament between 1942 and 1946. The son of a Judge Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar was born in Istanbul. After quitting veterinary college, he resumed his educational career at the Faculty of Literature at Istanbul University, which he completed in 1923. He died of a heart attack in Istanbul.

Compiler: M. Nauman Khan

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