Back by Inscrutable Demand: Ali Itır’s Multilingual Return in Berlin Savignyplatz

David Gramling


This essay builds on previous work on Ören’s figure of Ali Itır from the point of view of multilingualism on the one hand and critiques of neoliberal literature on the other. I argue that Berlin Savignyplatz attempts to disavow and abandon an iconic sign in this character of Itır that has become pernicious for the author’s own narrative consciousness in the years between 1983 and 1993. On the basis of close readings of passages in both the German and Turkish versions of the novel, without preferencing either, I suggest that Ören merits wider consideration as a literary theorist intervening in many of the same domains of conceptualization as 1990s luminaries like Derrida and Ricoeur, and Şenocak in German Studies particularly. I read Ören’s Berlin Savignyplatz novel in its/their Turkish-and German-language versions with a view to the differential relationality between them, as a philosophical fiction or multilingual poetics, epitomized by the figural sign Ali Itır itself. I further argue that it is Ören’s ambivalence toward literary monolingualism in Germany that obstructed his broader uptake as such a theorist. (DG)

View Full Text

This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.

Purchase access

You may purchase access to this article. This will require you to create an account if you don't already have one.