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ANDAY, Melih Cevdet

Poet and writer (b. 1915, İstanbul – d. 28 November 2002). He also used the pen names Mecdi Velet, M. C. A., Yaşar Tellidede, Niyaz Niyazoğlu and Murat Tek. He attended Kadıköy 35th Primary School (1928), Kadıköy Secondary School (1931) and graduated from Ankara Gazi High School (1936) where he studied together with Oktay Rıfat and Orhan Veli. He was sent to Belgium for training by the General Directorate of the State Railways Office where he worked and stayed for two years. When World War II began, he returned to Turkey and worked as an advisor at the Ministry of Education, General Directorate of the Press, as a librarian at Ankara Library and a journalist and translator (1942-51).

He wrote for newspapers such as Akşam (1953) where he worked as a page secretary and prepared the art and literature page, Tercüman (1958), Büyük Gazete (1969), Tanin (under the pen name Yaşar Tellioğlu, 1961) and Cumhuriyet (1961-64). After 1954, he worked as a teacher of diction at the İstanbul Municipality Conservatoire. He was also a board member at the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (1964-69).

His first poem Ukde (The Knot) was published in the review Varlık (15 November 1936). In addition to that review, his poetry was also published in reviews such as Ses (1940-41), Yaprak (1948-50), Yeditepe (1951-62), Papirüs, Yeni Ufuklar, Yeni Dergi, Soyut, Ataç, Dönem and Yön. He was one of the pioneers of the “Strange Movement” with Orhan Veli and Oktay Rıfat.

He published his weekly articles in the newspaper Cumhuriyet and in the review 2000’e Doğru in later years. His book Yan Yana (Side By Side, 1964) was considered to be against Article 142 of the constitution and was seized, but later released. He won the İlhan İskender Award with his play Mikadonun Çöpleri (The Garbage of the Mikado) with which he was selected as the best playwright for the 1967-68 theater season by the Ankara Art Appreciation Association. He won the achievement award for his novel Gizli Emir (The Secret Order) at the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation Art Awards Competition in 1970, the Turkish Language Association Translation Award in 1973 with his translation Buz Saray (The Ice Palace, by Tarjei Vesaas), the Yeditepe Poetry Prize in 1976 with Teknenin Ölümü (Death of the Boat), the Sedat Simavi Foundation Literature Award in 1978 with his work Sözcükler (The Words) in which he compiled all of his poetry, the İş Bank Award in 1981 with Ölümsüzlük Ardında Gılgamış (Gilgamesh in the Pursuit of Immortality), the Enka Holding Art Award in 1984 with his play Ölümsüzler ya da Bir Cinayetin Söylentisi (The Immortals or The Rumor of a Murder), the Fairs and Exhibitions Organization Incorporation Book Fair Honorary Award in 1991 and the Aydın Doğan Foundation Poetry Award in 2000.

Ahmet Oktay separates and evaluates Anday’s poetry into two periods. He calls the years between 1941 and 1960 the “Strange” and Socialist Period from Garip (Strange, a movement in Turkish Literature) to Yanyana (Side by Side); and calls the years between 1963 and 1989 the Mythological Period from Kolları Bağlı Odysseus (Odysseus Bound) to Güneşte (On the Sun). It might be said that in the first period, he draws on puzzling emotions and trusts in the joy of living; and in the second period, he acquired a class consciousness and wrote poems of narrative fiction.

WORKS:

POETRY: Garip (Strange, co-authored with Orhan Veli Kanık and Oktay Rıfat, 1941), Rahatı Kaçan Ağaç (The Restless Tree, 1946), Telgrafhane (Telegraph House, 1952), Yan Yana (Side by Side, 1956), Kolları Bağlı Odysseus (Odysseus Bound, 1963), Göçebe Denizin Üstünde (On the Nomad Sea, 1970, translated into Swedish), Teknenin Ölümü (Death of the Boat, 1975), Sözcükler (The Words, poems written before 1978, 1978), Ölümsüzlük Ardında Gılgamış (Gilgamesh in the Pursuit of Immortality, 1981), Tanıdık Dünya (The Familiar World, 1984), Güneşte (On The Sun, 1989), Yağmurun Altında (Under the Rain, 1995), Bir Sis Çanı Gecenin İçinde (A Fog-Horn Through the Night, selected poetry, 2002).

ESSAY: Doğu-Batı (East-West, 1961), Konuşarak (Speaking, 1964), Yeni Tanrılar (The New Gods, 1974), Sosyalist Bir Dünya (A Socialist World, 1975), Dilimiz Üstüne Konuşmalar (Conversations on Our Language, 1975), Maddecilik ve Ülkücülük (Materialism and Idealism, 1977), Yasak (The Forbidden, 1978), Paris Yazıları (Paris Articles, 1982), Açıklığa Doğru (Towards Clarity, new edition of his first two books with appendices, 1984), Sevişmenin Güdüklüğü ve Yüceliği (The Incompleteness and Greatness of Making Love, 1990), Yiten Söz (The Lost Word, 1992), Aldanma ki (Don’t Be Deceived, 1991), İmge Ormanları (The Forests of Image, 1994), Geleceği Yaşamak (Living the Future, 1994), Geçmişin Geleceği (The Future of the Past, 1999).

TRAVEL LITERATURE-MEMOIR: Sovyet Rusya, Azerbaycan, Özbekistan, Bulgaristan, Macaristan (Soviet Russia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Hungary, 1965, new edition with the name Anadolu’da ve Sosyalist Ülkelerde-In Anatolia and Socialist Countries, 1977), Akan Zaman Duran Zaman I (Time that Flows, Time that Stops: I, 1984).
PLAY: İçerdekiler (Those in Prison, 1965), Mikado’nun Çöpleri (The Sticks of the Mikado, 1967), Dört Oyun (Yarın Başka Koruda-Tomorrow at Another Meadow, Dikkat Köpek Var-Beware of the Dog, Ölüler Konuşmak İsterler-The Dead Want to Speak, Müfettişler-Inspectors, 1972), Ölümsüzler ya da Bir Cinayetin Söylentisi (The Immortals or The Rumor of a Murder, 1984).

NOVEL: Dullar Çıkmazı (The Dead-ends of Widows, published in İkdam, 1962), Aylaklar (The Idles, 1965), Gizli Emir (The Secret Order, 1970), İsa’nın Güncesi (Diary of Jesus, 1974), Raziye (Raziye, 1975), Yağmurlu Sokak (Rainy Street, 1991), Meryem Gibi (Like Mary, 1991), Birbirimizi Anlayamayız (We Can’t Understand Each Other, 1992).

LETTER: Şevket Rado'ya Mektuplar (Letters to Şevket Rado, edited by Emin Nedret İşli, co-authored with Orhan Veli Kanık and Oktay Rifat, 2002).

He has also made more than twenty-five translations.