“Ahmet Midhat, among other things, invented the East-West novel, which later became a genre in İstanbul. This is his most humorous, strange, and interesting book.”
– Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Prize-winning author of My Name is Red
“Felatun Bey and Rakım Efendi is a seminal work by one of the most prolifie first wave Tanzimat writers”
Iclal Vanwesenbeeek, associate professor of Renaissance and Middle Eastern literature, Sunyy Fredonia
“One of the first novels written in Turkish. Lots oftim to read. Midhat dominated the literary scene in İstanbul towards the end of nineteenth century. This is his most symptomatic novel about people caught between two cultures, cast and west.”
Nüket Esen, Boğaziçi University “Ahmet Midhat was the initiator and the popularizer of the novel in Turkey. Felatun Bey and Rakım Efendi illustrates the author’s reformist zeal as the guardian of traditional morals and manners at a time of cultural and epistemological transition.”
Jale Parla, İstanbul Bilgi University
Ahmet Midhat Efendi’s famaus 1875 novel Felatun and Rakım Efendi takes place in late nineteenth-century İstanbul and follws the lives of two young men who come from radically differene backgrounds. Rakım Efendi is an erudite. self-made man, one who is ambitious and cultivated enough to mingle with a European crowd. İn contras, Felatun Bey is a spendthrift tvho lacks intellectual euriosity and a strong work ethic. Squandering his wealth and education, he leads a life of decadence. The noovel traces Rakım’s and Felatun’s relationships with multiple characters, charting their romances and passions, as well as their own path through the many temptations and traps of European culture. The author creates a rich portrait of stratified Ottoman life through a diverse and colorful cast of characters-from a French piano teacher and an Arab nanny, to a Circassian slave girl-each deftly navigating the shifting tnores of their social class.