Article published in:Tradition, Tension and Translation in Turkey
Edited by Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar, Saliha Paker and John Milton
[Benjamins Translation Library 118] 2015
► pp. 73–86
Ahmet Midhat’s Hulâsa-i Hümâyunnâme
A curious case of politics of translation, “renewal,” imperial patronage and censorship
The Kelile and Dimne stories originally written in Sanskrit have been translated into various languages through the centuries. This book on ethics and politics, penned with the purpose of providing guidance to rulers by means of animal stories has been reshaped in each translation, sometimes bearing different titles, depending on the cultural context of the target languages while its essence and teachings remained the same. Ahmet Midhat Efendi’s Hulâsa-i Hümâyunnâme, commissioned by Sultan Abdülhamit II, printed in 1888, but banned from publication, is an interesting case in point. It was based on the illustrious 16th-century translation, the Hümâyunnâme, by Ali bin Salih Çelebi, which he presented to Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. This essay draws on a comparative study of both translated texts, focusing on Ahmet Midhat’s work as a “renewed” version of the source text, written in the plainer style of 19th-century Ottoman Turkish prose. It also probes into the question of why this work was banned.
Keywords: censorship, Kelile and Dimne, patronage, renewal, summary, translation
Published online: 10 July 2015
de Blois, François
Demirel, Fatmagül and Raşit Çavaş
Fleischer, Cornell H.
Paker, Saliha, and Zehra Toska
2002 “Translation as Terceme and Nazire. Culture-bound Concepts and their Implications for a Conceptual Framework for Research on Ottoman Translation History.” In Crosscultural Transgressions. Research Models in Translation Studies II. Historical and Ideological Issues, edited by Theo Hermans, 120–143. Manchester: St. Jerome.
Tahir Gürçağlar, Şehnaz
1989 Türk Edebiyatında Kelile ve Dimne Çevirileri ve Kul Mesud Çevirisi Vol. I, Unpublished PhD Dissertation, Istanbul University.