Adding towards a nationalist text: On a Turkish translation of Dracula

Şehnaz Tahir Gürçağlar
Bogğaziçi University, Istanbul

Abstract

This is a study of a “concealed translation” of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in Turkish. Ali Riza Seyfi, who was known as an author and translator of historical fiction and books on Turkish history, produced a version of the novel under the title Kazikli Voyvoda,which was published in 1928 and reprinted in 1946. Kazikli Voyvoda combines the original gothic aspects with a Turkish nationalist discourse, exemplifying the kind of role translation can assume in the making of national identities. The article traces the matricial norms employed by Seyfi to reveal those of his additions to Dracula that resulted in a highly nationalist text. It is further pointed out that Kazikli Voyvoda stands in a specific relationship with the notions of “national” and “nationalist” literature, which were rather topical around the time the text was published.

Table of contents

A full Turkish translation of Bram Stoker’s famous Gothic novel Dracula (1897) did not appear until 1998 (Stoker 1998). However, the local readership had been exposed to the book several decades before, mainly through two earlier Turkish versions, both of which pose interesting questions in terms of the concepts of translation they embody.

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