• Aziyade

Book Details
ISBN 978-969-652-053-5
No. of Pages 218
Format Hardcover
Publishing Date 2016
Language English

Pierre Loti (14 January 1850 – 10 June 1923) was a French naval officer and novelist, known for his exotic novels. Pierre Loti visited Istanbul many times, firstly on 1876 as an officer on a French ship. Loti was deeply affected by Ottoman life style and this was reflected in his novels. He lived in Eyup during his time in Istanbul. He always qualified himself as a friend of Turks. When he first came to the great city that links Europe and Asia and he fell immediately under its spell. In spite of his orientalist views, he also received a positive critical reception from some Turkish intellectuals. According to the poet Nazım Hikmet, Loti's apparent criticism of Turkish society was actually an expression of his pity for the sorry state of the backward Ottoman Empire.

Aziyadé (1879; also known as Constantinople) was his first book -- a great Orientalist romance and a true story of forbidden love in fabled Constantinople in the last days of the Ottoman Empire.  It is semi-autobiographical, based on a diary Loti kept during a 3-month period as a French Naval officer in Greece and İstanbul in the fall and winter of 1876. It tells the story of the 27-year-old Loti's love affair with an 18-year-old "Circassian" harem girl named Aziyadé. It also describes Loti's love affair with Turkish culture which became a central part of his "exotica" persona.

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