From “Image” to “İmge”: The Literary “War” of Attilâ İlhan
Keywords: Aesthetics,social realism,modern Turkish poetry,Garip,İkinci Yeni
Although image is a concept which is among the most favorite term in contemporary literary criticism, and in poetry criticism in particular, it is a hard task to define image as a critical term. The difficulty in defining image remains unchanged since the term was frequently used in Turkey in 1950's and also in 1960's when the term gained wide currency. Attilâ İlhan, who is the pioneer in using the term image in Turkey, attributes image a central role in his critical essays between 1952 and 1967. Image in Attilâ İlhan's critical vocabulary does not have a stable meaning, and is used for different purposes. Whereas İlhan uses image to indicate the frailty of the "social realist" literature in early 1950's, he uses the concept to prove that Garip is a "formalist" poetry in 1955, and that İkinci Yeni "misuses" the image in 1960's. Examining why he needed to employ image for criticizing those three different literary styles, it is possible to realize the inconsistency in İlhan's claims.