As an innovative literary movement marked by intensified transaction with European languages and literatures, Edebiyat-ı Cedide (“New Literature,” 1896–1901) has been conceptualized in terms of European influence. Yet paradigms of influence neglect to account for the ways in which Edebiyat-ı Cedide authors come to terms with the asymmetrical relations of power between languages as they articulate their own vision of a modern Ottoman language comparable to European languages in an earlier moment of global modernization. I argue that Edebiyat-ı Cedide's engagement with language exposes the ways in which they deal not only with the specter of the European linguistic other as a referent of superiority, but also with the specter of Arabic and Persian as intimate linguistic others. Within the broader context of Ottoman linguistic modernization of the nineteenth century, I examine the ways in which Edebiyat-ı Cedide forges a comparable language and the tensions involved therein.

You do not currently have access to this content.