Saturday, 17 December 2016

bir varmış, bir yokmuş

Following in the tradition of the Brothers Grimm of the previous generation (but whose legacy was still being unfolded), Hungarian linguist and ethnographer Ignácz Kúnos travelled around Ottoman Turkey collecting folklore, and in 1913 published a brilliantly illustrated by Willy Pogany edition of forty-four Turkish fairy tales.
Though in presentation, the collection may strike Western readers as something more in the tradition of 1001 Arabian Nights, the stories are cognates of the archetypal ones that the occident monomyth is heir to. The title above is the beginning of the Turkish preamble to all fairy stories, the equivalent to Once Upon a Time (Es war einmal…) and like Kúnos’ own Hungarian Egyszer volt, hol nem volt, volt egyszer egy... means once there was where there wasn’t, there was a, a form of introduction that was playfully duplicitous. Visit Public Domain Review to read the book in its entirety and to discover more forgotten literary gems.