A Study of Ottoman Narratives on Architecture: Text, by Selen B. Morkoç

By Selen B. Morkoç

It's commonly authorized that records on Ottoman architects are infrequent and that little is understood concerning the architectural perform within the Ottoman global. a bunch of texts that experience seemed among 16th and eighteenth centuries, in spite of the fact that, shape an exception to this normal assumption. whereas those texts were stated and noted in various prior stories on Ottoman structure, they've got now not been the subject of an immense interpretative method earlier than. A research of Ottoman Narratives on structure: textual content, Context and Hermeneutics is the 1st interpretive and comparative examine monograph to add those texts as its major subject. this can be the 1st translation of those works that contextualizes and translates their value in English.

The first textual content is a gaggle of 5 files that date again to the 16th century. They include memoirs and development lists written in prose and verse which belonged to popular Ottoman architect Sinan. the second one textual content used to be written less than the impact of the 1st staff of files and is in an analogous layout. It includes a memoir devoted to Sedefkar Mehmed Aga, who labored because the leader imperial architect within the 17th century, and likewise presents info on architectural phrases and makes comparisons among structure and song. The 3rd textual content isn't the same as the 1st : it's a monograph in regards to the Selimiye Mosque written in prose within the eighteenth century by way of Dayezade Mustafa, who was once an entire outsider to structure. whereas the 3 texts have really diversified old and thematic contexts their element in universal is their rendering of structure via narratives. From a hermeneutical viewpoint, the booklet compares narratives of the texts with modern historiography on Ottoman structure.

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Coskun Ocok (Ankara: Turk Tarih Kunimu, 1982), 151. 49 0 you, who settle for a day or two in life's palace, The world is not a place of repose for man. 36 A Study of Ottoman Narratives on Architecture Sai may have contributed to the editing of early drafts of the texts as well. In Tezkiretii 'l-Bunyan and Tezkiretii 'UEbniye he later worked with Sinan to refine the information he had gathered from Sinan's earlier texts into a more literary format. 50 Therefore, they are invaluable sources of information about Sinan's own perception of his works.

First of all, by reiying on three major sources it requires a reconstruction of history both in line with and confronting chronological readings. 50 Third, it has to work despite the nature of the narratives standing in between being literary and documentary: history is not literature. Carlo Ginzburg in his approach to history writing encourages us to deal with historically marginal figures when looking at important historical facts and events. 51 At the same time, he argues that the trichotomy of history, rhetoric and proof is a complex relationship that blurs the boundaries between the three.

Not chronicles or official recordings, but texts that have a narrative quality and perhaps a more inconspicuous and ambivalent objective or ideology provide invaluable sources reflecting the ambiguous nature of experience. Temporal distance between the buildings and the texts of the past is equally difficult to understand for a contemporary mind. 46 However, hermeneutics endeavours to ease this distance by allowing us to construct possibilities from what is represented as clues about human experience in either historical buildings or historical texts.

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