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Images of Dwellings in Refik Halit Karay’s Anahtar
In his novel Anahtar (The Key) (1949), Refik Halit Karay deals with the dilemmas which occured as a result of changes brought about by the modernization of society, through the couple Kenan and Perihan. While they were happily living in their old, small, and uncomfortable home, they drift apart upon moving into a big and impresive home, as a result of imprevements in their financial condition. In this paper, the aforementioned novel is analyzed according to the approach used by Gaston Machelard in his The Poetics of Space. Thus, houses we split into rooms for privacy, drawers or closets we use to hide things that we do not want anybody to see, stairs that lead to both darkness and light are all reflections of our inner worlds. Therefore, the places we possess are not ours, they are us. Even if we leave, we carry our homes with us like a tortoise, and as Assmann has said, we keep our memories of home alive through certain symbols that we code into our minds. For this reason, the key that she keeps is an important tool for Perihan who uses little symbols or repetitive actions in order not to forget her past -like other stimulants as “scent” “sound” “light” and “dream”- which provides spatial and chronic voyages to her old memories. In contrast for Kenan, whose connection to the past is lacking, it is an expression of sin. Anahtar can also be read as a symbolic text, via the personal reminders aimed at the past in the form of mind codes, of the author’s opposition to the social status quo that is the result of a new regime, conveyed through the perspective of a family.

Place - Mind - Refik Halit Karay - Bachelard - Key

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