Position of the Translation of Snuff in Turkish Literary Polysystem

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1 Position of the Translation of Snuff in Turkish Literary Polysystem Res. Asst. Aslı Polat Hacettepe University, Abstract The American author Chuck Palahniuk, well-known for his underground literature works, was basically known for his book Fight Club in Turkey as the book was adapted into a movie and has found itself a place in the all-time favorite films list. In May 2011, the author was brought to the agenda in Turkey with his book Snuff, translated into Turkish by Funda Uncu as Ölüm Pornosu and published by Ayrıntı Publishing House, well known for publishing underground literature books. The Board for Protection of the Minors from Sexually Explicit Materials filed a legal action against the book in Turkey proposing that the book hurts feelings of people and abuses sexual desires. Thereby the book had significant repercussions in Turkey. Following this incident, there started a fast growing trend of republishing the other already translated books of the author and translating the ones which had not been translated before. Based on the views of Hasan Basri Çıplak, the Director General of Ayrıntı Publishing House, and Funda Uncu, the translator of the book, it was concluded that the court case against the book had a great impact on the position of the book in Turkish literary system. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the change in the position of Turkish translations of Chuck Palahniuk s books, especially Snuff, in Turkish literary polysystem after 2011, within the framework of Itamar Even Zohar s Polysystem Theory. Keywords: Polysystem, Itamar Even Zohar, Chuck Palahniuk, Snuff, Ölüm Pornosu, underground literature, center, periphery. Özet Yeraltı edebiyatı eserleriyle tanınan Amerikalı yazar Chuck Palahniuk, Türkiye de çoğunlukla Dövüş Kulübü (Fight Club) isimli eseriyle bilinmektedir. Bunun temel nedeni kitabın sinemaya uyarlanmış ve tüm zamanların en beğenilen filmleri listesinde kendisine yer edinmiş olmasıdır yılının Mayıs ayında ise yazar, Türkiye de Funda Uncu tarafından Ölüm Pornosu olarak çevrilen ve yeraltı edebiyatı yayınlarıyla bilinen Ayrıntı Yayınları tarafından basılan Snuff isimli kitabıyla gündeme geldi. Muzır Neşriyattan Koruma Kurulu kitabın insanların duygularını incittiğini ve cinsel arzuları istismar ettiğini ileri sürerek kitap hakkında dava açmıştır, böylece de kitap Türkiye de büyük yankı uyandırmıştır. Aynı zamanda yazarın daha önce çevrilen kitapları yeniden basılmaya, daha önce çevrilmemiş olanlar da çevrilmeye başlanmıştır. Ayrıntı Yayınları Genel Müdürü Hasan Basri Çıplak ve kitabın çevirmeni Funda Uncu nun görüşlerinden de yararlanılarak, kitap hakkında açılan davanın, kitabın Türk edebi dizgesi içerisindeki konumu üzerinde büyük etkisi olduğu sonucuna varılmıştır. Bu çalışmanın amacı Itamar Even Zohar ın Çoğuldizge Kuramı çerçevesinden, Chuck Palahniuk un Türkçeye çevrilen kitaplarının, özellikle de Ölüm Pornosu (Snuff) kitabının, 2011 yılından itibaren Türk edebi çoğul dizgesindeki değişen konumunu incelemektir. 20

2 Anahtar Sözcükler: Çoğuldizge, Itamar Even Zohar, Chuck Palahniuk, Snuff, Ölüm Pornosu, yeraltı edebiyatı, merkez, çevre. A. Introduction 1. Itamar Even Zohar Itamar Even Zohar was born in 1939 in Tel Aviv. He got his BA and PhD degrees at the University of Tel Aviv and his MA degree in Jerusalem. Pursuing studies also in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm; Even Zohar gave lectures at various universities and research centers as a guest lecturer in Amsterdam, Paris, Philadelphia, Reykjavík, Quebec City, Louvain, Santiago de Compostela, Santander, St. John's (Newfoundland), Barcelona and Santa Cruz. He has a working knowledge of many languages, among which are Hebrew (his mother tongue), Arabic, English, French, Swedish, Spanish, Norwegian, Danish, Italian, Russian, German, Icelandic. Even Zohar still works at the University of Tel Aviv as a professor and cultural researcher. He put forward Polysystem Theory and among his significant works are Papers in Historical Poetics (1978), Polysystem Studies (1990), Papers in Culture Research (e-book) (2005), Polysystem Theory." Poetics Today (1979), An Outline of a Theory of the Literary Text (1972), "Factors and Dependencies in Culture: A Revised Draft for Polysystem Culture Research." (1997), The Relations between Primary and Secondary Systems Within the Literary Polysystem (1979), Translation Theory and Intercultural Relations (1981). 2. Polysystem Theory Polysystem Theory is a literary theory put forth by Itamar Even Zohar in the 1970 s at the University of Tel Aviv. According to Tahir-Gürçağlar (2011), polysystem theory can be referred to while reviewing not only translated texts but every type of cultural product as well, and it also points to the significance of the social context during the choice, translation and reading of translated texts (my translation, p. 129). Even Zohar defines translated literature as a system. Then we first need to mention the notion of system. System is the sum of interrelated elements forming a whole. Even Zohar regards translated literature as a system formed by interrelated elements, and he views the system of translated literature included in the literary polysystem. Literary polysystem has other elements apart from works of translated literature such as literary genres of children s literature, poetry, fantastic fiction, detective novel, classics as well as the products belonging to these genres and even their authors. According to Susan Basnett (2002), polysystems theory focused exclusively on literary translation, though it operated with an enlarged notion of the literary which included a broad range of items of literary production including dubbing and subtitling, children s literature, popular culture and advertising (p. 8). Although most of these texts are closer to the periphery, they are an important part of the system to understand this system as a whole. As Even Zohar mentions (1990), semiliterary texts, translated literature, children's literature--all those strata neglected in current literary studies--are indispensable objects of study for an adequate understanding of how and why transfers occur, within systems as well as among them (p. 25). There is always a struggle among the genres and works within the polysystem; while some elements are in the center (Divan Literature in the Ottoman 21

3 period), the others are in the periphery (Folk Literature in the Ottoman period). As Şehnaz Tahir-Gürçağlar (2011) states: In the literary field, texts are placed either in the central or peripheral position within the polysystem. These positions bring along another dichotomy in the theory: while central texts are viewed as canonised, peripheral texts are generally regarded as noncanonised. However, these positions are not stable either. In time, some of the noncanonised texts or genres change their positions and advance towards the center where canonised texts are positioned. (my translation, p. 130). In his theory, Even Zohar mentions the stratifications within the polysystem, and it is these strata which are in conflict. Furthermore, while the top positions are dominated by avantgarde literary genres, the lower ones are held by more conservative genres. Nevertheless, it is the conservative ones that initiate novelties, not the rooted literary genres at the top position. In addition to the dichotomies of center-periphery, canonised non-canonised, avant-garde conservative, we can also mention another dichotomy within the polysystem: primary-secondary. Even Zohar mentions (1990) the struggle between the primary and the secondary and its relevance for the evolution of the system in the following way: The struggle between the primary and secondary options is as decisive for the system's evolution as the tension (and struggle) between high and low strata within the system. Naturally, change occurs only when a primary model becomes dominant in the repertoire and subsequently in the (poly)system: its perpetuation denotes stabilization and new conservatism. (p. 21). Tahir-Gürçağlar (2011) states although primary and canonised literary genres sometimes overlap, this overlapping is not permanent since only the avant-garde literature holds the qualification of primary genres (my translation, p. 130). Translation has its own system within the polysystem, and at the same time this system is a part of the literary polysystem of the society. Regarding the translated literature, Even Zohar (1990) states, Whether translated literature becomes central or peripheral, and whether this position is connected with innovatory ("primary") or conservatory ("secondary") repertoires, depends on the specific constellation of the polysystem under study (p. 46). Translated texts can hold different positions in the translated literature system, and while some translated books are in the primary position, the others can be in the secondary position, which determines translation strategies of translators (my translation, Tahir-Gürçağlar, 2011, p. 131). Even-Zohar (1990) states that there are three conditions for translated books to assume a central position in the polysystem: (a) when a poly- system has not yet been crystallized, that is to say, when a literature is "young," in the process of being established; (b) when a literature is either "peripheral" (within a large group of correlated literatures) or "weak," 1 or both; and (c) when there are turning points, crises, or literary vacuums in a literature (p. 47). Mine Yazıcı (2010) defines the pioneering role of the polysystem theory as follows: 22

4 This theory has shed light upon the successors within the framework of translation studies. First, interest in descriptive studies has increased in order to get acquainted with the system; second, the focus of the studying tool of translation studies has moved from source culture and source text to target culture and translations in order to understand the role of translations in the system; and third, it has enabled research in translation studies to be dealt with in a dynamic system and has helped this discipline to make away with stability and to reach tranquility. (my translation, p. 129). B. Underground Literature and its Features As underground literature is a pretty new concept, it is very hard to define it at the moment. This genre is generally located in the periphery in literary polysystems as it is a deviant genre. It is defined as a genre that began to emerge in the mid-1800s and at the beginning of the 1900s to unleash the language and to shout freedom out. Being harsh, deviant and critical, mostly on the thin line between reality and imagination; underground literature is the manifestation of alcoholism, sexuality, extraordinariness and swearwords. It is very normal for this genre to stay in the peripheral position since it embodies such elements as swearwords, sexuality, criticism and extraordinariness as mentioned in the definition above. This situation prevents this genre from addressing to large masses in the societies, especially in the ones where it is hard to break taboos. We have mentioned above the difficulty in defining and demarcating underground literature. In this regard, Koray Sarıdoğan (2007), in his article that was written during his MA studies at Sakarya University Department of Turkish Literature, states that: Underground literature, due to its latent nature and limited studies on it, is a subject field that has not been yet clearly defined, the content and the identification of authors of which have not been demarcated, and which is still a topic of discussion regarding which authors and works can come under the body of this genre. (my translation, p. 2). In the same article, it is mentioned that underground literature intrinsically has reflex against a fixed definition (my translation, Sarıdoğan, 2007, p. 2). Therefore, it is more useful to put forth what kind of elements it incorporates rather than define it in a certain range. Şenol Erdoğan, chief editor of Altıkırkbeş Publishing House, interested in underground literature works in Turkey, expresses his ideas on this genre in an interview in the following way: Underground is related to counterculture, which I think has its origins in America and emerged after World War II with the contribution of the Beat generation. ( ) Underground is related to technique and an opposition against the system. It is a system that hates publishers and the notion of publishing. ( ) Underground is a living entity and cannot be reduced to literature. It is a sociological fact. It has of course a literature, yet it cannot be sold for 20 liras on the shelves. Of course somebody from the underground can come and burst; however, then this has become something different. It has come out. (my translation, Erdoğan, n.d) 23

5 Osman Çakmakçı, a poet, translator and an author, stated in an interview he gave in 2004 to the book review section of Milliyet newspaper that underground literature is a genre that squirts out of necessity in the environments where main stream literature and art is highly strong and well-established, best sellers dominate over the literary environment, and their popular themes and styles invade the literary environment (my translation, Çakmakçı, 2004). Based on these opinions about underground literature, it can be said that this genre emerged as a way of revolting. In such a rebellious genre, there will of course be such anomalistic elements as sexuality, alcoholism and swearwords. Osman Çakmakçı mentions the features that underground literature has to have as such: [Underground literature] embraces anomalistic themes from which popular literature abstains and stays away such as sexuality, secretive parts of human psychology, belief, de facto moral principles, ethical and esthetic values which are accepted without being questioned; for example, it turns its face to the dark depths of life and challenges them. (my translation, Çakmakçı, 2004). Merve Fergökçe, a short-story writer, expressed similar ideas in her article she wrote for the sabitfikir.com internet website in 2009: When underground is mentioned, it is not all that wrong to give a definition that emphasizes elements which have not completely come to light: a way of expression, even prayer and appeal that simmers somewhere out of all that is not spoken, not thought of, regarded anomalous, staying away from the standard current. This significant literary genre that has been holding on since the 18 th century is a formation in which first of all sexuality, violence, tunnels of human psychology, every kind of attitude against belief and morals are praised; faces overturn ethical values, and this formation has become one of the most important channels that feeds literature with its stance against the normal. (my translation, Fergökçe, 2009). Although there is no precise information regarding the exact time when underground literature started, it can be stated that it dates back to the mid-1800s and it emerged following capitalism. In this vein, Osman Çakmakçı states that: At the beginning of the 20 th century, when capitalism started to gain power and potency, and capitalist world view, life style and morality started to prevail, arrange the world and even human life according to its own rules and form its own representation systems, the authors who stood against this world, its life style, morality and representation system; who could not find a meaningful and genuine place for themselves withdrew under the ground and asserted that there were other worlds and realities outside of the world and realities that capitalism enlightened with its deceptive light. (my translation, Çakmakçı, 2004). Though we cannot give an exact definition of underground literature, on the basis of the above mentioned ideas, we can assert that this genre started in America, it has the qualification of rebellion against popular culture, and moreover, it is a means of arousing attention, and that it deals with the themes which normal settled literature abstains from and which are regarded as taboos in many societies. The forerunners of this literary genre are (agreed by many) Marquis De Sade ( ), Charles Bukowski ( ), William S. 24

6 Burroughs ( ), Norman Mailer ( ), Irvine Welsh (1958- ), Leonard Cohen (1934- ) and Chuck Palahniuk (1962- ). We can add Georges Bataille ( ) and Maurice Blanchot ( ) to this list. In Turkey, after 1980s, when capitalism infiltrated into the country, there appeared several changes in the literary polysystem and the first examples of underground literature started to show up after 1990 s (my translation, Çakmakçı, 2004). The authors writing in this genre in Turkey are Altay Öktem (1964- ), Küçük İskender (1964- ), Süreyya Evren (1972- ), Hakan Günday(1976- ), Fatih Kaynak, Aytuğ Akdoğan. C. The Events Regarding Ölüm Pornosu (Snuff) in Turkey in 2011 Towards the end of May 2011 İstanbul Prosecution Office for the Press launched an investigation against Chuck Palahniuk s book Snuff, translated into Turkish by Ayrıntı Publishing House under the name of Ölüm Pornosu. In the expert opinion of the Board for Protection of the Minors from Sexually Explicit Materials there are such remarks about the book as the following: It was unanimously deliberated that the expressions in the book Ölüm Pornosu, which was analyzed and reviewed, hurt feelings of people, abuse sexual desires, violate the Article 226 of the Turkish Penal Code, and therefore are found obscene; as the book is a non-periodical publication, it is not included in the Additional Article-2 added to the Law No by means of the Law No (my translation, Ölüm Pornosuna Soruşturma, 2011). Right after the investigation started, Hasan Basri Çıplak, the Director General of Ayrıntı Publishing House was summoned to bear testimony to the prosecutor s office. In his testimony, Çıplak stated that Palahniuk is one of the significant men of letters in the world; the content of the book in dispute is, contrary to what is claimed, a stark criticism against commoditization of the female body (my translation, Ölüm Pornosuna Soruşturma, 2011). In the statement given by Ayrıntı Publishing House after the investigation, it was mentioned that the books of Chuck Palahniuk have been translated into many languages and admired; even Palahniuk is viewed among the greatest 100 authors of the age by critics (my translation, Ölüm Pornosuna Soruşturma, 2011). In 2011 Ölüm Pornosu was published by Ayrıntı Publishing House and until May it went to press two times. This situation shows that Chuck Palahniuk is an attractive author for the Turkish reader. The translator of the book Funda Uncu was also summoned to bear testimony a few days after the investigation started. Funda Uncu stated that the policemen treated her badly while she was giving her testimony, and she claimed that the policemen asked her, How dare you write this book? (my translation, Avcı, 2011). After Uncu told them she did not write the book but only translated it, they gave her a hard time by keeping asking, Did you read this book?, Do you know what you are doing? (my translation, Avcı, 2011). Funda Uncu, being a graduate of the Department of American Culture and Literature at Dokuz Eylül University and working as a translator for Ayrıntı Publishing House for a long 25

7 time, stated in a later interview that she only translated the texts into Turkish correctly and did not add any comment or omit any parts, and she did not have the full responsibility in the legal sense over the words as a translator (my translation, Saka, 2011). Moreover, Uncu expressed her opinions regarding the content of the book as such: If the aim of the book is to reveal a fact, tell about the truth then there is no drawback of its being obscene. Chuck Palahniuk starkly criticizes the commoditization of the female body in Ölüm Pornosu. He tells about a section from the life of a pornography star. Obscene expressions are used in order to narrate the section realistically. Ölüm Pornosu is a criticism and absolutely a literary work. (my translation, Saka, 2011). The law case against Ölüm Pornosu, in which Funda Uncu and Hasan Basri Çıplak were tried for the offence of the mediation in publishing obscene works, started in November Hasan Basri Çıplak stated that the book is not pornography, therefore they did not put any age limit on the book, and if they had put such a limit, the book would be more attractive for the children (my translation, 'Ölüm Pornosu' Davası Başladı, 2011). In July 2012, the lawsuit against Ölüm Pornosu was deferred within the scope of the new law that came into effect, and it was ruled the lawsuit would continue in the event that the defendants (Funda Uncu and Hasan Basri Çıplak) committed a similar crime. A short time before the lawsuit, it was mentioned in the expert opinion that the book is a literary work. As is seen, Chuck Palahniuk s book Snuff, translated into Turkish as Ölüm Pornosu has had repercussions in Turkey, and the book has come closer to the central position in Turkish literary system when evaluated within the framework of Itamar Even Zohar s polysystem theory. D. Evaluation of the Translation of Chuck Palahniuk Books Within the Frame of Polysystem Theory Palahniuk pushes the limits of the fantasy world in Ölüm Pornosu: The book narrates a pornography star s having sex with 600 men in front of cameras to break the world record. The event is narrated from the viewpoint of three men who are among the 600 and are in some way connected to the past of the pornography star. While Palahniuk displays the pornography industry in the modern life, he criticizes the male and female perceptions in this sector and narrates the changes in the feelings of men and women while they are transforming into goods. As mentioned above, Chuck Palahniuk s book Snuff, translated into Turkish as Ölüm Pornosu, was found obscene by the Board for Protection of the Minors from Sexually Explicit Materials and a lawsuit was filed against the translator and publisher of the book. The lawsuit filed against the book and the news about it in the media and the press moved the book towards a popular position and enabled people, even the ones who had not been interested in the author and his books before, to take interest in the book. In this study, we will make use of some quantitative data to prove the change in the position of the book. As has been witnessed so far, if an event has repercussions in the media and the press, this directly influences the literary system. For example, in January 2011 the TV series Muhteşem Yüzyıl, in which the life of one of the Ottoman Sultans Suleiman the Magnificent is treated, 26

8 increased the popularity of Hürrem Sultan, the wife of Suleiman the Magnificent, and thereby the books related to her have found their places in the lists of bestsellers. To give an example, the book Moskof Cariye Hürrem, written by Demet Altınyeleklioğlu, had its first and sixth editions in 2009 and reached its 33 rd and 34 th editions only in three years, by Another example is related to an event that happened on the first days of the year The two books, Şeker Portakalı (O Meu Pe de Laranja Lima) and Fareler ve İnsanlar (Of Mice and Men), which are among the 100 Essential Books, which need to be read by secondary school students in Turkey, were found unfavorable by certain circles. A high school teacher asked students to read Şeker Portakalı for their homework, and the parent of one of the students filed a complaint against the teacher on the grounds that the book has elements harming the family bonds. District National Education Directorate launched an investigation against the teacher. Similarly, some parts of Fareler ve İnsanlar were found unfavorable by another District National Education Directorate Board of Inspection and Survey for Books. On January the 3 rd 2013, a news speaker at a TV channel reacted against the situation with these two books and stated that he would buy these books on the same day, search for the unfavorable elements and even recommend his little niece to read these books. These words prove what kind of a reaction a society can show in such situations. As stated in the examples above, a sociocultural event has direct reflections on the literary system. Chuck Palahniuk and Ölüm Pornosu similarly moved towards the central position in Turkish literary system in 2011 and thereafter. In other words, the book found a place in the lists of bestsellers in a specific period and it enjoyed a fast-paced increase as for the number of editions. That a lawsuit was filed against the translator and the publisher of Ölüm Pornosu had an influence on the positions of the Turkish translations of Chuck Palahniuk s other books as well. However, the greatest influence was on Snuff (Ölüm Pornosu). This situation can also be explained under the light of polysystem theory: According to this theory, each stratum of the literary polysystem is another system, and there are also center-periphery relations between these systems. To put it differently, polysystem inherently has more than one center and more than one periphery (my translation, Tahir-Gürçağlar, 2003, p. 245). When we view the Turkish translations of Chuck Palahniuk books as a system, it is very natural for Ölüm Pornosu to be in the central position in this system due to the lawsuit filed against it. Below the Turkish translations of Chuck Palahniuk books are handled in their own right as a system and the central position of Ölüm Pornosu in this system is analyzed with the help of the quantitative data. Later, the position of Ölüm Pornosu in the lists of bestsellers which is close to the center is presented according to the data published by several book stores in Turkish Translations of Chuck Palahniuk Books: Ölüm Pornosu, Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1 st edition 2011, 15 th edition 2012, Total number of books: 30000, Translator: Funda Uncu Dövüş Kulübü (Fight Club), Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1 st edition 2001, 11 th edition 2012, Total number of books: 22000, Translator: Elif Özsayar 27

9 Tıkanma (Choked), Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1 st edition 2003, 10 th edition 2012, Total number of books: 20000, Translator: Funda Uncu Gösteri Peygamberi (Survivor), Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1 st edition 2002, 9 th edition 2012, Total number of books: 18000, Translator: Funda Uncu Görünmez Canavarlar (Invisible Monsters), Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1 st edition 2004, 6 th edition 2012, Total number of books: 12000, Translator: Funda Uncu Tekinsiz (Haunted), Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1 st edition 2009, 3 rd edition 2012, Total number of books: 6000, Translator: Funda Uncu Ninni (Lullaby), Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1 st edition 2007, 3 rd edition 2011, Total number of books: 6000, Translator: Funda Uncu Günce (Diary), Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1 st edition 2007, 3 rd edition 2010, Total number of books: 6000, Translator: Funda Uncu Kaçaklar ve Mülteciler (Fugitives and Refugees), Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1 st edition 2005, 3 rd edition 2011, Total number of books: 6000, Translator: Esra Arışan Çarpışma Partisi (Rant), Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1 st edition 2010, 2 nd edition 2010, Total number of books: 4000, Translator: Funda Uncu Pigme (Pygme), Ayrıntı Publishing House, 1 st edition 2012, Total number of books: 2000, Translator: Gökçe Çiçek Çetin A few points in this list are worth mentioning. First, the first edition of Ölüm Pornosu was published in 2011 and it reached its 15 th edition in only one year. The reason for this is the lawsuit filed against the book and the great media coverage about it. That the book was found obscene and it became a matter in dispute aroused the attention of the society, and following this incident, a great number of people bought the book. Dövüş Kulübü with 11 editions and Tıkanma with 10 editions follow Ölüm Pornosu in the second and third positions respectively. That these books are closer to the center within this system could be explained with the fact that they were turned into a screenplay. Especially the movie Dövüş Kulübü has had great repercussions due to its questioning the relations in the capitalist system and has found its place among the cult and all-time favorite films. Another point worth mentioning regarding the Turkish translations of Palahniuk books is that in Pigme, the first edition of which was published in 2012, the dates and the names of places, sects, institutions, transportation means are censored with dark lines. This can also be a hint for us to observe that there is sensitivity towards Palahniuk books. Due to the lawsuit against it in 2011, Ölüm Pornosu became very popular in Turkey and moved towards the central position in the literary polysystem. This could be verified with the data compiled from several book stores. According to the data compiled by Anadolu Agency from Mephisto Book Store, the most popular books of 2011 are: (En çok bunları okumuş ve dinlemişiz, 2011) 1. Elif Şafak İskender 28

10 2. John C. Parkin S*ktir et 3. Bejan Matur Dağın Ardına Bakmak 4. Chuck Palahniuk Ölüm Pornosu 5. Nazım Hikmet Büyük insanlık-kendi Sesinden Şiirler 6. Zülfü Livaneli Serenad 7. Ahmet Ümit İstanbul Hatırası (for non-natives) 8. Rojin Canan Akın-Funda Danışman Bildiğin gibi değil 9. Murathan Mungan Şairin Romanı 10. Patti Smith Çoluk Çocuk According to İdefix online book sale portal, the most popular books of July and December in 2011 are: July 2011 (En Çok Satanlar Listesi, 2011): 1- İskender Elif Şafak Doğan Kitap 2- Neil Gaiman Volumes (5 volumes) 3- Ölüm Pornosu Chuck Palahniuk Ayrıntı Publishing House 4- Serenad Zülfü Livaneli Doğan Kitap 5- İsim, Şehir, Hayvan Yılmaz Özdil Doğan Kitap 6- Aklından Bir Sayı Tut John Verdon 7- Elif Paulo Coelho, Can Publishing House 8- Kürk Mantolu Madonna Sabahattin Ali YKB Publishing House 9- Hoca Efendi Erol Toy Cumhuriyet Books 10- Aşkın Gözyaşları II Sinan Yağmur December 2011 (En Çok Satanlar Listesi, 2011): 1. OD İskender Pala Kapı 2. Prag Mezarlığı Umberto Eco Doğan Kitap 3. Kabil Jose Saramago Kırmızı Kedi 4. Gizli Anların Yolcusu Ayşe Kulin Everest 29

11 5. Az Hakan Günday Doğan Kitap 6. Kürk Mantolu Madonna Sabahattin Ali YKB Publishing House 7. Ölüm P.rn.su Chuck Palahniuk Ayrıntı Publishing House 8. Yabancı Albert Camus Can Publishing House 9. Küçük Mucizeler Dükkânı Debbie Macomber Martı Book Store 10. Şahane Hatalar Heather McElhatton April Publishing House According to the list formed in cooperation with Haber 7 Kitap Dünyası and ilknokta.com and following the comparison between the lists of bestsellers of D&R, NT, Remzi, İnkılap and Nezih book stores and the data of distributors, the 20 most popular books of August 2011 are (İşte Bu Ayın En Çok Satan Kitapları, 2011): 1. İskender - Elif Şafak - Doğan Kitap 2. Aklından Bir Sayı Tut - John Verdon - Koridor Publishing House 3. S*ktir Et - John C. Parkin - Arunas Publishing House 4. İsim, Şehir, Hayvan - Yılmaz Özdil - Doğan Kitap 5. Serenad - Zülfü Livaneli - Doğan Kitap 6. Elif - Paulo Coelho - Can Publishing House 7. Taht Oyunları - George R. R. Martin - Epsilon Publishing House 8. Kazım Karabekir'in Gözüyle Yakın Tarihimiz - Mustafa Armağan - Timaş Publishing House 9. Yazlık - Gülse Birsel - Turkuvaz Book Store 10. İkinci Yarısı - Ece Temelkuran - Everest Publishing House 11. Aşkın Gözyaşları - Sinan Yağmur - Karatay Akademi Publishing House 12. Bildiğin Gibi Değil - Funda Danışman, Rojin Canan Akın - Metis Publishing 13. Ölüm Pornosu - Chuck Palahniuk - Ayrıntı Publishing House 14. Şairin Romanı - Murathan Mungan - Metis Publishing 15. Erkek Dedikodusu - French Oje, T. B. - Okuyan Us Publishing House 16. Aykut Oğut - Aykut Oğut - Dharma Publishing House 17. Her Şey Beyinde Başlar - Mümin Sekman - Alfa Publishing House 18. Az - Hakan Günday - Doğan Kitap 30

12 19. Şeytanın İflası - Nermin Bezmen - Doğan Kitap 20. Hava Kurşun Gibi Ağır - Hıfzı Topuz - Remzi Book Store In the above lists we can observe that Ölüm Pornosu is among the most popular books after June 2011 (the period when the investigation was launched). We can say that the book has moved towards the central position in accordance with the polysystem theory. Although we can say that Ölüm Pornosu was closer to the center when we regard the Turkish translations of Chuck Palahniuk books as a system, it has never assumed the most central position in Turkish literary polysystem. This is basically related to the genre the book belongs to: underground literature. As mentioned above, this genre is quite new and is generally in the peripheral position due to its themes. In other words, it only appeals to certain groups in the society. According to Itamar Even Zohar (1990): As a system, translated literature is itself stratified, and from the point of view of polysystemic analysis it is often from the vantage point of the central stratum that all relations within the system are observed. This means that while one section of translated literature may assume a central position, another may remain quite peripheral. (p. 49). When we treat the translated literature as a stratum of Turkish literary polysystem, translations from underground literature are mostly in the peripheral position of this system. Fantastic fiction such as Harry Potter, Hobbit; suspense thriller such as Tess Gerritsen books; translations of detective stories and world classics are mostly in the central or close to the central position within the system of translated literature. However, polysystem is inherently dynamic and there is always a struggle between different strata. This struggle causes some groups of texts to change their positions; some texts advance towards the center, while some others move to the periphery (my translation, Tahir-Gürçağlar, 2003, p. 245). Ölüm Pornosu (Snuff) by Chuck Palahniuk aroused the attention of many people in Turkey and thereby advanced towards the central position in 2011 since it was found obscene and became a matter in dispute. E. Conclusion nderground literature, which started in America in the 19 th and 20 th centuries as a reaction against capitalism, is mostly critical and anomalous due to the themes it deals with. The American author Chuck Palahniuk is regarded as one of the pioneers of this genre today, and his books are translated into many languages. 11 books of Palahniuk have been translated into Turkish. However, as underground literature is not yet very popular in Turkey, it is generally in the peripheral position in the literary polysystem. The most popular of Palahniuk books translated into Turkish is Ölüm Pornosu (Snuff). In his book, Palahniuk criticized the pornography industry and the male and female perceptions in this system. He also chose his words according to the nature of this theme. In Turkey the Board for Protection of the Minors from Sexually Explicit Materials first viewed the book as obscene and filed a case against it, and then it stated that the book is a literary work in the expert 31

13 opinion. Following the new law, the case against the book was deferred. This sociocultural incident has influenced Turkish literary polysystem and has carried Palahniuk, the translator of the book Funda Uncu and Ayrıntı Publishing House towards the central position. Even though the lawsuit against Ölüm Pornosu has not brought about a radical change in the position of underground literature in Turkey, it has enabled its genre, author, translator and publishing house to become known by more people and has increased the interest in this genre. Literature is thus part of the social, cultural, literary and historical framework and the key concept is that of the system, in which there is an ongoing dynamic of mutation and struggle for the primary position in the literary canon (Munday, 2001, p. 109). If we consider Chuck Palahniuk as a system in its own right, we can find Ölüm Pornosu in the central position of this system due to the sociocultural incident. If we regard underground literature as a system, we can find Chuck Palahniuk as one of the few popular foreign authors writing in this genre in Turkey. When we evaluate the translated literature, which is generally in the peripheral position, with its own strata, we can observe that translations from underground literature still hold a peripheral position in this system, yet this genre started, with Ölüm Pornosu, to move towards a more central position in Last but not least Chuck Palahniuk succeeded in carrying underground literature a bit away from the peripheral position in Turkish literary polysystem in As Itamar Even Zohar (1990) puts it, a move may take place, for instance, whereby a certain item (element, function), in our case underground literature, is transferred from the periphery of one system to the periphery of an adjacent system, in our case translated literature, within the same polysystem, and then may or may not move on to the center of the latter (p. 14). In the case of Ölüm Pornosu, the book assumed the position that is closer to the center in the system of translated literature in Turkey. 32

14 References Print Sources Basnett, S. (2002). Translation studies. (3 ed.). London and New York: Routledge. Even-Zohar, I. (1990). Polysystem theory. Poetics Today. 11(1), Even-Zohar, I. (1990). The position of translated literature within the literary polysystem. Poetics Today. 11(1), Munday, J. (2001). Introducing Translation Studies. London: Routledge. Tahir-Gürçağlar, Ş. (2003). Çoğuldizge kuramı. In M. Rıfat (Ed.). Çeviri Seçkisi 1. (1 ed., pp ). İstanbul: Dünya Yayıncılık. Tahir-Gürçağlar, Ş. (2011). Çevirinin ABC si. İstanbul: Say Yayınları. Yazıcı, M. (2010). Çeviribilimin Temel Kavram ve Kuramları. (1 ed.). İstanbul: Multilingual Internet Sources Avcı, Ü. (2011, August 6). 'Manken misin?'. Retrieved from Çakmakçı, O. (2004, November 4). Edebiyatin 'Yeralti' Damari. Milliyet. Retrieved from Erdoğan, Ş. (n.d.). Altıkırkbeş Yayınevi Editörü Şenol Erdoğan'la Röportaj. Retrieved from Çıplak, H. B. (2011, November 17). Ölüm Pornosu Davası Başladı. Habertürk. Retrieved from Çıplak, H. B. (2011, May 26). Ölüm Pornosuna Soruşturma. Habertürk. Retrieved from En Çok Bunları Okumuş ve Dinlemişiz. (2011, December 31). Haber7. Retrieved from En Çok Satan Kitaplar Listesi (Aralik 2011) [Web log message]. (2011, December 29). Retrieved from html En Çok Satan Kitaplar Listesi (Temmuz 2011) [Web log message]. (2011, July 31). Retrieved from Fergökçe, M. (2009, October 5). Yeraltı Edebiyatı. Sabit Fikir. Retrieved from İşte Bu Ayın En Çok Satan Kitapları [Web log message]. (2011, August 8). Retrieved from 33

15 Saka, F. (2011, November 6). 'Çevirmen Erkek Olsaydı Manken Misin Denmezdi'. Retrieved from Sarıdoğan, K. (2007). Yeraltı Edebiyatına Giriş ve Birer Yeraltı Edebiyatı Romanı Olarak Dövüş Kulübü ile Azil Adlı Eserlerin Karşılaştırılması. Çanakkale. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/file/d/0b9ia_bycrixybvywddnjoev5d3c/edit 34

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