[EARLY TURKISH SHAKESPEARIANA - THE FIRST TURKISH TRANSLATION of 'JULIUS CAESAR' in the OTTOMAN / TURKISH LITERATURE] Jül Sezar. Translated by Abdullah Cevdet [Karlidag], (1869-1932).
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, (1564-1616).
Kütübhane-i Içtihad, Cairo / Egypt, 1908.
In a contemporary creme cloth. Cr. 8vo. (19 x 14 cm). In Ottoman script. 165 p. Kütühane-i Ictihad, Aded, 20. Between 1908 and 1910, Abdullah Cevdet produced a large oeuvre of translations, including four translations of Shakespeare's tragedies: The translations of Hamlet and Julius Caesar (translated by Cevdet as Jül Sezar) were published in 1908, the same year as the declaration of the Second Constitution. [.] Nonetheless, Abdülhamid II seemed to be even less tolerant of the dissemination of Hamlet, Macbeth, and Julius Caesar, since they were about unjust rulers who were executed at the end. It is not surprising that the performances of these plays were subject to strict censorship in the Ottoman lands and they were banned (Paker 1986: 91). This could be shown as a reason why Abdullah Cevdet was able to publish the translations of these plays only after 1908, though he had finished translating Hamlet in 1902, Julius Caesar and Macbeth in 1904, and Romeo and Juliet in 1905 (Süssheim 1987). Due to the fact that Abdullah Cevdet was a culture-planner, his literary translations cannot only be judged on their "aesthetic" level. It will be discussed in this chapter that Abdullah Cevdet's translations of Hamlet, Julius Caesar, and Macbeth could be read as critical texts directed against Abdülhamid II's absolutist regime. Due to the fact that the selection of source language and culture is an important factor in accounting for any kind of "translation policy", Abdullah Cevdet's selection of source language and culture needs to be questioned (Toury 2000: 202). Even though Abdullah Cevdet does not include Julius Caesar (translated by Abdullah Cevdet with the title Jül Sezar) among what he calls "the four inauspicious tragedies", it was the only play for which Abdullah Cevdet wrote an impressive preface, and it was the second play he translated and published after Hamlet. In a sense, special importance was attributed to Julius Caesar by Abdullah Cevdet for ideological reasons and it was also highly esteemed by other revolutionaries in the Union and Progress Party (Enginün 1979: 119). Abdullah Cevdet was an Ottoman-born Turkish intellectual and physician of ethnic Kurdish descent. He was one of the founders of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). In 1908, he joined the Democratic Party which merged with the Freedom and Accord Party in 1911. He was also a translator, radical free-thinker, and an ideologist of the Young Turks until 1908. The son of a physician, and himself a graduate from the Military College in Constantinople as an ophthalmologist, Cevdet, initially a pious Muslim, was influenced by Western materialistic philosophies and was against institutionalized religion, but thought that "although the Muslim God was of no use in the modern era, Islamic society must preserve Islamic principles". He published the periodical Içtihat from 1904-1932, in which articles he used to promote his modernist thoughts. He was arrested and expelled from his country several times due to his political activities and lived in Europe, in cities including Vienna, Geneva, and Paris. His poetry was linked with the Symbolist movement in France, and he received accolades from leading French authors like Gustave Kahn. Özege 9788. Four institutional copies in OCLC: 4026865. First Edition. Extremely rare.