TANPINAR’S DIARY: A BOOK OF REVENGE?
Bu makale, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar'ın günlük tutma sebeplerini incelemektedir. 2007 yılında yayımlanmasından itibaren günlük, Tanpınar'ın kişiliği ve çevresindeki insanlar hakkında yaptığı sert eleştiriler başta olmak üzere birçok açıdan değerlendirilmiştir. Fakat göz ardı edilen hususlardan biri Tanpınar'ın, günlüğü, daha sonra basılması niyetiyle mi tuttuğu yoksa hatırlamak üzere aldığı notları muhafaza eden bir akıl defteri olarak mı gördüğüdür. Günlüğün okuyucu fikri olmadan tutulması, Tanpınar'ın arkadaşları hakkında ağır eleştirilerini çözümlemeyi kolaylaştırırken, notların daha sonra basılması fikriyle tutulması ise günlüğü bir intikam kitabına dönüştürmektedir. Bu makale, Tanpınar'ın günlüğünü iki ayrı noktadan analiz etmektedir. İlk olarak günlüğün herhangi bir estetik kaygıyla tutulup tutulmadığı incelenmiştir. Tanpınar'ın günlüğü hakkında yazdığı ifadeler aktarılmış, tuttuğu bazı notları beğenmeyerek tashih etme yoluna gitmesi analiz edilmiş ve doğrudan okuyucuyu muhatap alan sözleri incelenerek, günlüğün okuyucu fikri ile tutulduğu görüşü sunulmuştur. Tanpınar'ın estetik kaygısıyla notlarını tutmuş olması ve günlüğünün bir gün okunacağı ümidini taşıması, günlüğünde yer alan ağır eleştirilerin bir intikam hissi ile tutulduğu fikrini bizlerde uyandırmaktadır. Tanpınar'ın, Yahya Kemal, Mehmet Kaplan ve diğer bazı şahsiyetler hakkında günlüğünde yazdığı ifadeler bu makalede analiz edilmiş ve Tanpınar'ın, günlüğünü bir intikam kitabına dönüştürdüğü fikri açıklanmaya çalışılmıştır
TANPINAR’IN İNTİKAM NOTLARI
This article examines Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s motivation of keeping a diary. Since its publication in 2007, Tanpınar’s diary has been analyzed in terms of many aspects, most of which were based on his negative remarks about people around him and his personality portrayed in the diary entries. However, one of the neglected points about his notebooks was whether Tanpınar kept a diary with an intention of publication or it was just an autocue in which he took some notes to remember. The answer is quite significant in that having no intention of making it public would lead a milder criticism on Tanpınar’s sore tone toward his friends while an idea of publication might turn the diary into a book of revenge. He planned and hoped that his diary was going to be published, if not necessarily in his lifetime. He wanted his diary to hold some aesthetic characteristics; therefore, he revised and edited the entries, and even added some explanatory footnotes. His direct address to a reader should be considered his propensity of being read. His sore remarks about people can be explained as his desire to take revenge from people who do not reciprocally show friendship. Contrary to what the editors of the diary claim, that is, Tanpınar wanted only a group of people to read his diary entries, this article aims to prove that Tanpınar wanted his diary to be public This article examines Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s motivation of keeping a diary. Since its publication in 2007, Tanpınar’s diary has been analyzed in terms of many aspects, most of which were based on his negative remarks about people around him and his personality portrayed in the diary entries. However, one of the neglected points about his notebooks was whether Tanpınar kept a diary with an intention of publication or it was just an autocue in which he took some notes to remember. The answer is quite significant in that having no intention of making it public would lead a milder criticism on Tanpınar’s sore tone toward his friends while an idea of publication might turn the diary into a book of revenge. This article aims to prove that Tanpınar planned and hoped that his diary was going to be published, if not necessarily in his lifetime. Tanpınar does not have many remarks about his intention of the publication of his diary. One of few entries about the publication is dated 3 December 1958 when he notes, “I think this diary will be read after me. I like this feeling. People will see how I have lived” (Enginün and Kerman 2007: 134). This explicit disclosure about the publication of the diary is interpreted in different ways as the editors of the diary, İnci Enginün and Zeynep Kerman, claim that Tanpınar’s consideration does not necessarily mean that he wanted his diary to be read by the public, but rather it was his close friends who would have open access to the entries (2007: 8). However, Hilmi Yavuz asserts that Tanpınar’s diary is not a “journal intime” but a “journal extime,” that is, intended to reach public audience. Similar to what this article puts forward, Yavuz further comments, “if he enjoys thinking about the publication of his diary, that feeling is very much strengthened by the revenge he would like to take on his friends who call him ‘grotty’” (2008). That also explains statements full of hatred and animosity toward his friends in his diary. This article aims to prove that his statements about the publication, his aesthetic concerns on the form of the diary, and his sore remarks in the diary about the people around him show that Tanpınar took personal notes with an intention of publication. Some diary entries show that Tanpınar had a reader concern in his mind. Apart from his annotative note that he thinks his diary “will be read after [him],” there are some entries in which he gives messages to readers or directly talks to them. He writes on 14 August 1953, “I will come back to this” (Enginün and Kerman 2007: 83) or on another page he notes, “I hope I will continue tomorrow” (2007: 121). There are some notes written either for an audience or for himself to check back later. While he was writing about Jean de Vatteville, for example, he could not collect his thoughts about a date and notes in parenthesis, “will be checked from Hammer” (Enginün and Kerman 2007: 103). Contrary to the idea of making his notebook open to public, Tanpınar writes, though rarely, how he plans to destroy his notebook: “I got up early. Snuffling. I need something other than studies on poetry, the missing parts of the book, love, loneliness, and nature. I need a few more poems. If I someday finish them all, I would burn this notebook” (Enginün and Kerman 2007: 244). If Tanpınar took audience-oriented notes and planned the publication of his personal notes, this would inevitably lead him to have aesthetic concerns in his diary. About the literary value of the diary, one can easily assume that it is not Tanpınar’s exquisite work, compared to his other works. It is full of judgments on himself and about some other people near him, which makes the diary not a work of art but a notebook in which Tanpınar records his experiences and opinions on several issues. The manuscript is disorganized; its form is not aesthetically in a perfect form. Since it is a diary, the disorganized form is not surprising: some notes were taken while Tanpınar was standing and scratching on his notebook; some phrases have no connection to each other and make up the majority of the text. Nevertheless, he was not as reckless in form as he seems, for he was periodically revising his diary. On 14 August 1953, after writing “bad administration makes this grudge something newsworthy,” he does not like the expression and notes in parenthesis, “not well expressed” (Enginün and Kerman 2007: 89). He wants to feel content with his notes as he once stops writing due to weakness in rhetoric: “I am almost asleep. Not a proper way to write” (Enginün and Kerman 2007: 157). Tanpınar’s sore remarks in the diary about the people around him might be considered as having an intention of the publication of the diary entries. This unstable rhetoric and portrayal of the content in the diary differ from his other works and raise important questions. One argument might be that Tanpınar had a broad knowledge about Western culture but lied up to Eastern principles; that caused him to struggle to find a way out of the depression that stemmed from the collapse of the Ottoman Sultanate and caused him to have ambivalent remarks in his diary. Other interpretation might be based on his turning his diary into a book of revenge. He dared not to say his thoughts in his lifetime but entered them in his diary so that he could take revenge after his death. His plan did not work since the editors did not publish the diary until 2007. People who were the object of his accusations and hatred in the diary had already passed away when the diary was published in 2007, more than four decades after Tanpınar’s death in 1962. Tanpınar has a negative tone in his criticism; for example, he calls Yahya Kemal Beyatlı “slipshod”; degrades Ottoman culture and traditions; names his closest pupil a “firebrand”; and speaks ill of many people around him. This inconsistent attitude, not spoken by Tanpınar but written in his notebook may stem from his ambivalence; it might be related to Tanpınar’s establishing in his diary a different self with a different discourse, which is to be disclosed by his prospective audience. All the points to be discussed in this article prove that Tanpınar had an intention of the publication of his diary. He wanted his diary to hold some aesthetic characteristics; therefore, he revised and edited the entries, and even added some explanatory footnotes. His direct address to a reader should be considered his propensity of being read. His sore remarks about people can be explained as his desire to take revenge from people who do not reciprocally show friendship. Contrary to what the editors of the diary claim, that is, Tanpınar wanted only a group of people to read his diary entries, this article aims to prove that Tanpınar wanted his diary to be public.
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