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EDEBIYAT-I CEDIDE / NEW LITERATURE: مائى و سياه [Mai ve Siyah / Blue and Black]




One of the first Ottoman novels, written in its contemporary European form


8°,  original front wrapper printed in blue black and gold, tile page, 231 pp. with black and white illustrations, contemporary brown cloth with debossed decoration, brown calf spine with gilt debossed decoration, contemporary marbled endpapers (old annotations in pencil, binding slightly rubbed, overall in a good condition).


A rare first edition of an Ottoman novel Mai ve Siyah (Blue and Black) describes a life of an author in the late 19th century Istanbul. The charming illustrations showcase the Istanbul’s contemporary life, joining the East and the West, and also the bookstores. Our example has preserved the front cover, printed in blue, black and gold. The front covers in the Ottoman books were often removed, when rebound, or are preserved in a bad condition.

The author Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil (1866-1945) was educate din a French school in Izmir, where he started admiring the contemporary French novelists. Halit Ziya was the first Ottoman writer, who authored novels in its contemporary European form.

Halit Ziya Uşaklıgil belongs to the Ottoman authors of the so called New Litarature, who gathered around the magazine Servet-i Fünun.

Servet-i Fünun ( ثروت فنون ) or Wealth of Knowledge was a famous Ottoman magazine, published between 1891 and 1944. Starting as an illustrated with scientific articles and reports, accompanied with humour and literature, it soon turned into a leading literary magazine, publishing modern Ottoman poetry and literature. The group of authors, which gathered around the magazine between 1896 and 1901, passed into the history of literature under titles “New Literature” or the “Servet-i Fünun Lietrarure”.

This is a rare first edition. We could not find any institutional copies on Worldcat.

The second, more common edition followed four years later.

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