In 1916, at the height of German-Turkish political relations, the journalist, philologist, and literary critic Friedrich Schrader completed the first full length translation of a Turkish novel into German: Halide Edip’s “The New Turan” (1911).
This talk explores Edip’s utopic vision of Pan-Turkism in conjunction with Schrader’s own efforts to foster deeper forms of German-Turkish cultural exchange, as well as his critique of the increasingly violent persecution of minorities in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. At the same time that he lent support to the Young Turk Revolution (1908), Schrader staged plays by Schiller, gave lectures on German classicism in Ottoman, and translated works of late Ottoman literature into German. As an avowed social democrat, his decision to translate Halide Edip’s The New Turan (1911) in 1916 would seem to have had clear political motives. The translation furthermore appeared in the Deutsche Orientbücherei series, which also devoted significant attention to Pan-Turkism as a bulwark against the common Russian enemy. I argue, however, that Schrader’s decision to translate The New Turan actually reflects his own failed attempt to “translate” European humanism into the late Ottoman political realm.
Kristin Dickinson’s research focuses on the history of German-Turkish literary and cultural contact, with a focus on questions of translation and world literature. She is Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of Michigan and currently IFK_Research Fellow.