The theater play on the historical ruler of what is now today Iran, Jalal al-Din Mingburnu, was written by one of the most prominent names of the new Ottoman literature Namık Kemal (1840 –1888). It was first published in 1876 without a lengthy introduction. Our book is the second edition, but the first one to include Namık Kemal’s 69 page thought on the language and theatre, inspired by the preface of Cromwell by Victor Hugo, a theater piece from 1827, today considered the manifesto of the Romantic movement. Kemal’s introduction was previously first published in 1885 in a magazine Mecmûa-i Ebüzziyâ.
Namık Kemal (1840 –1888) is known as one of the pioneers of the modern Ottoman literature, who influenced a new generation of writers. Mehmet Kemal was of Albanian origins, born to chief astrologer in the Sultan’s palace Mustafa Asım Bey and Fatma Zehra.
Namık was forced to leave his first job at the governmental translation office due to his radical political views. He joined a secret group the Young Ottomans, seeking further modernizations and reforms, which as they believed were not achieved by the Tanzimat. Namık Kemal was also writing for the newspaper Tasvir-i Efkar (“Herald of Ideas”). In 1867 he was exiled to Paris, where he stayed until 1869 or 1870.
Upon his return Namık Kemal continued working on the newspaper and was active as a writer, playwriter and a poet. His works were modern, idealistic and patriotic. In 1973 he wrote his most famous play Vatan Yahut Silistre, (Fatherland or Silistra). Eight days after its premiere at the theater, on April 1, 1873, Namık Kemal was sent to prison to Famagusta, Cyprus, until 1876. Under the rule of Abdul Hamid II Namık Kemal was exiled as many other members of the Young Ottomans, this time to Chios, where he lived until his death in 1888.
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk later often pointed out, he was inspired by the Namık Kemal‘s work.
References: MİL – NA – ÖZEGE; 2860; OCLC 634878330, 47038416, 984372972, 283804945 (eBook).