A touch of literature: Ince Memed, by Yasar kemal.

Hello one more week. Today we are going to talk about literature. Concretely of one of the most famous personages of the popular culture: Ince Memed (Mehmed the skinny.)

This character was created by one of the most important Turkish writers of all time, Yaşar Kemal (1923-2015).

This writer was highly valued in life. Despite this, he never opted for the Novel Literature Award. His candidacy was always present at the Swedish Academy. He was a famous communist and defender of the rights of the Kurds. He was of Kurdish origin and his ideas took him several times to jail. He was also a famous journalist

Ince Memed, his best know work, shows that commitment for the poorest and values ​​of equality.

One of the last pictures of Yasar Kemal.

Memed is a young and poor villager who will become a famous bandit who fights against the oppression of the Agas (landowners), specially Abdi Agá, the oppressor of his village and his family. The story unfolds during the twenties. Date that coincides with the formation of the Turkish State. This is important because we can see the differences within the traditions of the old Otoman Empire and the new regime.

It is very interesting the simple language and the beautiful descriptions of the landscapes of Mount Taurus, its villages and forests. Also interesting are the legends and customs that appear. The harshness of peasant life and violence are described with the same frankness as love and natural phenomena. It is a realistic novel influenced by Romanticism. But the best thing about the novel is the mixture of adventure, love and fight for freedom. This makes Medmed a work of universal literature.

A view of the surroundings of the Taurus. Place where the novels of Medmed are developed.

For those interested in this series of novels (because it is a trilogy), There are translations in several languages. Among them in English and Spanish.

For the lovers of the cinema, there are several Turkish films about the personage and also one directed and carried out by Peter Ustinov in the decade of the 80´s, Memed My Hawk.

Peter Ustinov Movie Poster “Memed my Hawk”(1984).

I hope this little post helps you to discover Turkish literature and its culture.

See you next week.

Alejandro Pardo.