Thursday, 26 January 2017

Villette and The Professor in Turkish

Turkey is unique in having, albeit abridged, both Villette and The Professor in one book, published in 1958 (410 pp.).  There were actually two editions of this work, published by Türkiye Yayınevi from Istanbul. This translation was done by Sayhan Bilbasar (1915-1999).
It is interesting that the jacket covers only give the The Professor title, Sevdiğim Adam, which translates as Favorite man. The book covers also give the Villette title, Istirap Yillary, or A Year of Suffering. One edition has a green cover, the other a reddish one. It’s not known which was published first.

Cover of the book jacket of the first
Turkish 1958 The Professor/Villette





The book cover of the first Turkish
1958 The Professor/Villette



The second 1958 edition was only discovered recently, which is why it got that rank. It means that both novels gained another translated edition (in comparison to the last published update of 6 January, raising the scores to 219 for Villette and 171 for The Professor and their total to 390. The 100th translated edition was published one year later, in 1959, the 200th in 1995, the 300th in 2010. It is likely we’ll get to 400 at the end of this year.

Cover of the second Turkish 1958
The Professor/Villette


The first complete translation of Villette was published in 2011 by Kırmızı Kedi from Istanbul (560 pp.). The title was Geçmişin Gölgesinde, which translates as History in the shadow. This translation was done by Nevhiz Aksunkur (1952-). A second edition, with the same cover, was published in 2013 (552 pp.).

Cover of the 2011/2013 Turkish Villette


The Professor
The second Turkish The Professor was published in 2001, a full translation by Gamze Varim (293 pp.). It was published by Oğlak from Istanbul.

Cover of the 2001 Turkish
The Professor
(Painting: Gwen John - The
precious book (ca. 1920-6))

The third translation, by Elif Yıldırım, was published in 2012 by Oda from Istanbul (269 pp.). Yildirim has also translated works from Jane Austen, Joseph Conrad, Mary Shelley and F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as French literary and German philosophical works. She also wrote a few books herself.

Cover of the 2012 Turkish
The Professor
(Painting: Antonio Zuccaro - Portrait
of Stjepan SPevec (1876))

The Varim translation was republished in 2013 by Türkiye İş Bankası Kültür from Istanbul (329 pp.).

Cover of the 2013 Turkish
 The Professor

Some English editions of The Professor have also been published in Turkey.

The other Brontë novels
Wuthering Heights was the first to be translated and published, in 1942. Jane Eyre followed in 1945, Shirley in 1955, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall in 1968 and Agnes Grey in 1970.

Other Turkish languages
So far only two translated editions have been published, or found at least, for the Turkish languages of Central Asia and the Caucasus. Both Azerbaijan and Tajikistan have a Jane Eyre. More editions of this novel have been found in these countries that formerly belonged to the Soviet Union, notably in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, but these are Russian translations. It’s quite likely we’ll see more Brontë translations from these countries in the coming years.

Eric Ruijssenaars

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