Metin And’ın (1927-2008) İngilizce yazdığı Karagöz: Turkish Shadow Theatre adlı kitap, ilk yayımlanışından on dört yıl sonra yeniden okurla buluşuyor. Türk gölge oyunu alanındaki çalışmalarını hayatının sonuna dek sürdüren And, bu tiyatro türünün dünyada da tanınması için etkinlikler düzenlemiş, yabancı dillerde incelemeler, kitaplar yazmıştı. İşte bu çabanın ürünlerinden biri olan Karagöz: Turkish Shadow Theatre, geleneksel gölge oyunumuzu kökenlerinden malzemelerine, belli başlı oyunlarından karakterlerine etraflıca ele almasının yanı sıra, Türk tiyatrosunun başka türleriyle –özellikle de Türkiye’de kukla tiyatrosuyla– ilgili bilgiler içeriyor. Kitabın gözden geçirilmiş basımına, bir Karagöz oyununun İngilizce çevirisi ile önemli Karagöz oynatıcılarından Ragıp Tuğtekin’le yapılmış bir söyleşi eklendi. Bu yeni basımın en önemli özelliği ise, Metin And’ın kitabının görsel açıdan yeniden ele alınması oldu: Yapı Kredi Müzesi’nin Karagöz Koleksiyonu’nda yer alan Karagöz tasvirleri, “Yıktın Perdeyi Eyledin Vîrân / Yapı Kredi Karagöz Koleksiyonu” sergisinin 2004 yılında yayımlanan kataloğundan sonra ilk kez bu kitapta yeniden Karagöz meraklılarının karşısına çıkıyor.
For over fifty years, Metin And championed Turkish theatre, traditional performing arts, festivities, and the art of Ottoman miniature in dozens of articles and titles in Turkish and other languages. In Karagöz: Turkish Shadow Theatre, originally written in English for an international audience in mind, he turns to one of the most original and colourful art forms that developed in and spread through the Ottoman Empire.
Starting with an overview of traditions of theatre in Turkey, Metin And moves on to a thorough investigation of Karagöz, Turkish shadow theatre named after its protagonist: Its origins and development, the techniques involved in making of the figures and props, detailed studies of the stock characters and plots, and the form’s function as political comment in the Ottoman Empire, ending with an account of shadow theatre’s decline and later influence in the Westernizing Turkey. This revised edition includes full-colour reproductions of figures found in the rich Karagöz archive of Yapı Kredi Museum, as well as an appendix on the Turkish puppet and marionette theatre written by Metin And, the full text of a Karagöz play, and an interview with one of the last Karagöz performers in Turkey.
Highly informative and hugely entertaining, Karagöz: Turkish Shadow Theatre is an indispensable reference book on the subject.
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