Reading Ritual in Reşat Nuri Güntekin’s Novels with “Sapere Aude!” Aphorism
Keywords: Literature, Reşat Nuri Güntekin, novel, enlightenment, ritual.
Enlightenment is an orientation that tries to transform the negative, destructive, superstitious irrational structure of the Middle Ages against science and thought into rationality. The enlightenment spread through literature, philosophy, art and scientific activities; The liberation of the human mind from the guidance of someone else is also understood as the use of one’s own judgment. Any activity that cannot be explained by reason is also against the positivist understanding. Therefore, the ritual is approached at a distance for a long time. Whereas various images that cannot be explained in terms of culture-based feelings are recorded in the memory of the society. As an individual and social being, human beings need to develop a behavior against all kinds of sacred, religious and non-religious. The intellectual and perceptual evolution that human beings and society go through over time also creates a change in the perception of “sacred”. In the Middle Ages, in parallel with the sacred, rational thought envisioned above all and nature, it begins to be envisioned as immanent in nature in general and in the nature of being in particular. The changing perception of “sacred” necessitates the redefinition of the rites. The new understanding of ritual that emerged under the
influence of rational thought in modern times manifests itself in an inherent state in man. The historical process reveals that the human being as a conscious ritual creature cannot be without ritual, and that the ritual essentially continues to function functionally even if it changes its shell. Man’s helplessness in understanding and comprehending metaphysics and his surrender to transcendence led to the emergence of rites; It has resulted in the development of certain behavioral patterns in the face of transcendent being or thought. The novel, which emerged as a manifestation of modernization with westernization in Turkish literature, is an important beginning for the reorganization and restructuring of the individual / society. Güntekin places the constructive program of the idea of enlightenment in the fiction of the novel. The mental change, which is getting stronger and increasing its influence in Istanbul, is foreign to the provinces and the people in Anatolia maintain the old mentality since they do not know exactly what the new is to replace the old. Güntekin, who uses Turkish folk culture in his novels, functions as an element of society and is an indispensable shows intertwined with ritual, which is a vehicle.