ISBN: 9786054640669 | | 222 σελίδα, 19x12 cm. | literature
Philothei Parerga – The Passions of a Godlover
Translated by: Ekin DedeoğluBuy
Appointed as the hospodar of Wallachia by Sultan Ahmet III, in 1715, Nikolaos Mavrokordatos (Isleretzade Nikola) continues his duty until his death in 1730, with a short interruption when he was captured by the Austrians. He is a member of the “Phanariot Greeks” intellectual circle who came to important positions in the Ottoman Empire of 17-18th Centuries with their multilingual society and advanced diplomacy skills. With the originality of its plot, the timeliness of the subjects it deals with, and the elegance and mastery of its language, the first manuscript of Nikolaos Mavrokordatos’s work, “Philothei Parerga” is dated to 1719 and accepted as the “first example of Contemporary Greek Literature in novel genre.”
The events in this work takes place in Istanbul around 1715 and can surprise today’s readers with its frankness and daring views. It is built in a flexible structure to include a letter, discussions on politics, morals and history, a detective case, short essays, and criticisms of some prominent figures of the period. This unique text sheds light on the ideas of the Phanariot Greeks about Ottoman politics and cultural relations between the West and the East, as well as vivid descriptions of the rulers of the period like Sultan Ahmet III or Swedish King Charles XII. It takes us into depths of prisons and dungeons, around the Bosphorus views, to a tour of the Golden Horn on a boat using the traditional wise boatman motif. It affirms the Ottomans’ passion for theological discussions and tulips, and describes the nations living together in the capital city. Within the Enlightenment spirit and conception of Tulip Era, it directs an astute look at the daily life, philosophy and politics of the East and West and, like the open-ended finals of modern films, opens and closes as a cross-section of life in which the reader has to predict the end.