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TURKISH AVANT-GARDE: Jocond ile Si-Ya-U [La Gioconda and Si-Ya-U]



Possibly the most powerful Hikmet’s revolutionary poem on Mona Lisa falling in love with a Chinese man and starting a rebellion in China after seeing his execution tries to connect various nations in the revolution.


Small 8°. 40 pp with two full page black and white illustrations within text, original illustrated wrappers (pages slightly age-toned, light wear on the spine, a tiny repaired tear in the upper part of the back cover, corners with minor wear, a tiny chip in a white margin, title page lose, otherwise in a good condition).



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This is the first edition of the famous Turkish controversial revolutionary poem on a man from Shanghai, Si-Yu-U, who is a student from the Soviet Union, visiting Louvre and falling in love with Mona Lisa. Mona Lisa, who is bored with smiling at tourist, falls back in love with the energetic and smart Si-Yu-U. After he leaves for Shanghai and does not return, worried Mona Lisa decides to follow him. She boards a ship and travels through Madagascar to China, where she witnesses her beloved Si-Yu-U being chased and beheaded by the governmental soldiers. Mona Lisa’s famous smile disappears, she raises a flag and starts a rebellion. She is eventually caught and burned.The poem is one of Nazim Hikmet’s first large successes. It was published upon poet’s return from Moscow in 1928, after he spent eight months in a Turkish prison. The character of Si-Ya-U was based on Hikmet’s friend with the same name, who returned to China. Hikmet started worrying about him after not hearing from him.

With this work Nazim Hikmet wanted to internationalize the leftist movement, joining France, Turkey, Soviet Union and China in the same revolutionary thought.

We could find five institutional copies (SOAS, KOÇ University Library, Orient-Institut Beirut, Harvard College Library, Danish Union Catalogue and Danish National Bibliography).

References: OCLC 871578305.

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