Ottoman Literature in the 17th-18th century

I read the article by Hatice Aynur on "Ottoman Literature" in The Cambridge History of Turkey, Volume 3: The Later Ottoman Empire, 1603-1839, 2006: 481+; mostly to get familiarize with some names of notable literary figures. 


Some notes:

- Primacy of poetry vs. prose

- 17th and 18th c. literature has been "much neglected" vs. the 16th (high point in Turkish writing) and the 19th (transition to modern nationalism)

- key figures who died in 17th c.: Nevizade 'Atayi; Veysi (model prose author); Nef'i (a poetic genius!); Evliya Celebi (travelogue); Karacaoglan ('popular' poems)

- key figures who died in the 18th c.: Nabi (dominant gazel poet); Nadim (poet using Istanbul speech); Seyh Galib (poet excelling in multiple genres)

- The whole period In a simple formula: 3N's - Nef'i, Nabi and Nadim!

- Some popular poetry genres gradually gained elite acceptance

- As in Arabic and Persian practice, divan includes all poetic output other than mesnevis

- gazel was the central genre of Ottoman poetry; has social function among elites (e.g. lines can be added to texts already in existence) (note: compare Chinese poetry especially in Song dynasty)

- mesnevi reached peak of popularity in the 16th c.

- verses hiding dates is called tarih

- hundreds of historigraphical prose from the 2 centuries (but not covered in article)

- rhymed prose (suslu) - key authors are basically poets

(I realize my transliteration below of Turkish without diacritics is atrocious ... but probably as much for all my other postings involving diacritics!)


Some names, dates and works: (not exhaustive!!!)

- Sehi's Hestbehist (1538) - first Ottoman reference work focusing on poets

- Gelibolulu Mustafa 'Ali's Mahasinu'l-adab (1596)

- Nevizade 'AtayiHamse-i 'Atayi (1617-1627) (set of 5 mesnavis), Menakib Seyh Mahmudel-Uskudari (vita of 'Aziz Mahmud Hudayi (d. 1628), founder of Celvetiyye order); suslu prose author

Veysi (1561-1628): obtained office many times, admired by Evliya Celebi; poems addressed social problems, economic difficulties, dubious policies and corrupt power-holders; suslu prose author, prose works Siyer-i Seysi and Hvab-name-i Veysi were considered models by authors of the 18th c.

- Nef'i (d. 1635): Siham kaza ('the shafts of doom'), his collection of satirical poems with harsh criticisms, threats, insults and indecencies; improvisation skill is at the highest degree; also has Persian divan; most prominent 17th c. kaside poet (62 pieces produced); Fahriyye kaside, praised the merits not of some patron but of his own poety, became model for many successors

- Nergisi (d. 1635): suslu prose author

- 'Aziz Mahmud Hudayi (1541-1648): religious poet

- Fehim-i Kadim (1627-1648): representative of the Indian style (sebk-i hindi)

- Nesati: representative of the Indian style

- 'Abdulahad Nuri (1594-1650): religious poet

- Naksi-i Akkirmani (d. 1654): religious poet

- Cevri (d. 1654-5): first to mention palace women by name, particularly the ruler's powerful mother Kosem Sultan

- Oglanlar seyhi Ibrahim (1591-1655): religious poet

- Gufti from Edirne: Tesrifatus-suara (1658-60), unusual tezkire in 2,4000 couplets of nesnevi verses containing information on 106 poets.

- Vecdi (d. 1661)

- Na'ili the Elder (d. 1666):  first ot include sarki in his divan

- Alaybeyizade Mehmed Emin (d. 1666): Vefeyat pur-'iberliuli'l-elbabimen'ihteber (death dates and short bigraphies of 7000 people)

- Ahmed Nami (1600-1673): one of few poets with several divans

- Gaybi Sunullah (1615-1676): religious poet

Evliya Celebi (1611- after 1683): author of famous 10-volume prose travelogue; recorded ~500 verses hidding dates in the first 4 volumes of his travelogue; not so much esteemed by contemporaries but by late 19th and 20th c. critics; described geography and ethnography of the Ottoman world while showing a vivid appreciation of story-telling traditions 

- Niyazi-i Misri (1618-1694): religious poet

- Karacaoglan (17th c.): towering figure among 'popular' poets

- Sidki Hanim (d. 1703): female poet

- Fatma Fa'ize Hanim: female poet, sister of Sidki Hanim

- Ani Fatma Hatun (d. 1710): female poet; famous for her knowledge; calligrapher

- Ferdi (d. between 1708-1710)

- Nabi (1642-1712): one of the dominant figures in the Ottoman literary world of the 2H-17th and the early 18th centuries; representative of one of 3 major literary currents; acknolwedged arbiter elegantiarum; also has Persian divan; full collection of his poem published in 1997; poems reflect his biography; dominating figure of gazel-writing in the period; 'dominant' style (similar to Persian poets Sevket-i Buhari and Sa'ib-i Tebrizi)

- Saida (contemporaneous to Nabi)

- Rami Mehmed Pasa: another representative of Nabi's circle of poets

- Mehmed Feyzi: wrote a famous sarki

- Sani: Mevlevi dervish who wrote satires

- Fasihi (dates unknown)

- 'Omer b. Muhammed el-Kastamoni (dates unknown): Sufi hagiography

- 'Abdi

- Hazin

- Hasmet

- Ulfeti from Baghdad: obsessed with verses hidding dates

- Pirizade Sahib Efendi

- Nevresi Kadim: invented a couplet hidding 24 dates

- 'Abdulbaki 'Arif: religious poet, author of Miraciyye

- Diyarbarkirli Ahmed Mursid (d. 1700): religious poet

- Gevheri (17th - 18th c.): most famous saz sairleri

Risale-i Garibe (anonymous) (probably early 18th c.)

- 'Asik 'Omer (1651?-1707?): most famous saz sairleri

- Rahim Kuburizade Havayi (d. 1715): set trend for satires

- Ibrahim Hakki Erzurumi (d. 1722): religious poet

- Kami (d. 1723): contested umpire among poets after Nabi

- 'Osmanzade Ta'ib (d. 1724): first poet laureate

- Ismail Hakki Bursavi (d. 1724): religious poet

- Nazim (d.1727): sarki

- Rahimi (d. 1727-8)

- Nedim (d. 1730): most brilliant among those favoring bringing literary expression closer to contemporary speech; first to include poems in hece metre used by 'popular' poets in his divan; foremost representative of kaside in the 18th c.; dominating figure of gazel-writing in the period; language closely modelled on Istanbul speech of the day, including pronunciation of Arabic and Persian verses

- Vehid (d. 1732): also use pseudonym Mahtumi when writing folk poems

- Levni (d. 1732)

- Sami (d. 1733): sarki

- Sakib Mustafa Dede (1652-1735): Mevlevi dervish; preferred lengthy gazels

- Rasid Efendi (d. 1735-6): author of poems and chronicle

- Seyyid Vehbi (d. 1736): poet alureate after Ta'ib

- Hasan Sezai (d. 1737): religious poet

- Zati Suleyman Efendi (d. 1738): religious poet

- Munif (d. 1743)

- Mirzazade Salim (d. 1743): mesnevi

- La'lizade 'Abdulbaki Efendi (d. 1746): Menakib Melamiyye-i Bayramiyye (biography of dervishes)

- Mu'minzade Hasib (d.1747): Silku'l-leal-i Ali 'Osman: notworthy collection of poets' biographies

- Ibrahim Rakim Efendi (d. 1750): Sufi hagiography

- Rahmi (d. 1751): sarki

- Fitnat Hanim (d. 1780): sarki; female poet; no trace of femail voice

- Uskudarli Hasim (d. 1783): religious poet

- Seyyid Hasib-i Uskudaris (d. 1785): author of biographical encyclopedia Vefeyat ekabir-i Islamiyye

- Mustakimzade Suleyman Sa'deddin (d. 1787): biographies of dervishes

- Hafiz Huseyin Ayvansarayi (d. 1787): most original of the vefeyat writers, also known for exhaustive reference work on mosques and dervish lodges of Istanbul; Vefeyat selatin vemesahir-i rical, Tercumetu'l-mesayihin

- Ramiz (1736-88): Adab Zurefa (biographical work cum anthology covering poets active between 1720-1784)

- Nasid (d. 1791): sarki

- 'Aziz Efendi (d. 1798): author of prose work Muhayyelat ledunn-i ilahi; not so esteemed by contemporaries, but because his fiction formed a link to the stories and novels written by Ottoman authors in 2H-19th c.; ambassador to Berlin (died there); text largely forgotten today but contains features considered typical of late Ottoman novels in the last quarter of the 19th c.

- Seyh Galib (1757-1799): sarki; religious poet; foremost representative of kaside in the 18th c.; Husnu 'Ask generally accepted as the last major work composed as mesnevi, and it has aroused much interest down to the present day

- Ilhami (d. 1808): sarki

- Fazil Bey Enderuni (d. 1810): sarki; composed a cenginame as a sequence of kit'as

- Sururi (d. 1814): compiled anthologies (mecmu'as) of most ingenious inventions of different poets (for verses hidding dates)

- Enderunlu Vasif (d. 1824): sarki

- Ziya Pasa (1825-1880): statesman, intellectual

Comments: 1 (Discussion closed)
  • #1

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