This is the first full-length biography in English of Nazim Hikmet, the Turkish poet and political activist who is one of the greatest literary figures ever to emerge from Turkey. Not only a communist committed to revolution, but a romantic who was passionately in love with his country and his people, Hikmet was repeatedly arrested for his political beliefs and sentenced in 1938 to twenty-eight years imprisonment. Although an international campaign helped to secure his release under an amnesty in 1950, he fled to the Soviet Union in 1951 where he died in 1963 stripped of his Turkish citizenship. This book presents much new material, most of it Turkish and not available to most readers, and the authors have also used interviews with people who were close to Hikmet to illuminate his life. Hikmet's poetry has been skillfully integrated with his personal and political life, and photographs richly illustrate the career and life of a poet whose career forms a microcosm of twentieth-century politics.
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Saime Göksu grew up in Turkey at the time when Nazim was in prison and his work was banned.
Edward Timms is Professor of German at the University of Sussex.
Turkish-born G?ksu and husband Timms (German, Univ. of Sussex) claim in the introduction to this first biography of Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet (1902-63) that his life and career "form a microcosm of twentieth-century politics." Hikmet was born to a wealthy family in a part of the Ottoman Empire that was eventually partitioned to Greece. His early exposure to political upheaval as well as his appreciation for the natural "melodic cadences" of the Turkish language led Hikmet to create a poetic outlet for his frustrations. A member of the Communist party since 1921, Hikmet was imprisoned from 1938 to 1950 on the fabricated charge of inciting an anti-imperialist revolt in the Turkish army. He continued his remarkable poetic output in prison, most notably in the epic "Human Landscapes." He had a large following abroad, particularly in the Soviet Union, where he fled to exile in 1950 to avoid another imprisonment in Turkey. The major flaw in this well-researched biography is the lack of excerpts from Hikmet's poetry itself. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.ADiane Gardner Premo, Rochester P.L., NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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