Murder, Mystery and Memory: Istanbul in Historical Fiction (COMPLIT 309A)
This course serves as an introduction to the genre of historical fiction with a focus on Istanbul as its setting. After a brief overview of the origins of the genre in the early nineteenth century to its worldwide popularity in the twenty-first century, we will read historical novels set in Istanbul at its different moments in time. We will study issues of narration, memory and plot as we explore the relation between literature and history, between historical novel and truth; and discuss what it means to imaginatively and critically engage with the past. Readings will include novels by writers such as Ihsan Oktay Anar, Mathias Enard, Jason Goodwin, Nedim Gursel, Barbara Nadel, and Orhan Pamuk.