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Shirine Hamadeh, Westernization, Decadence, And The Turkish Baroque: Modern Constructions Of The Eighteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses largely on Arseven's writings. Cumulatively the writings of Arseven set the main parameters of the narrative that came to dominate the scholarship in the second half of the twentieth century, parameters that to a certain degree remain dominant today. They also reveal and elucidate the different significations with which such concepts as "decadence", "Westernization", and "the Turkish Baroque" were associated in the early republican period, before they were eventually instituted and mainstreamed. The degree to which the intellectual environment of the 1930s was fundamental to reshaping Arseven's architectural thinking on the eighteenth century is a matter of conjecture. Even if the centrality of rationalism in his new editions is in line with the official republican discourse, his brand of rationalism is a rather idiosyncratic one that serves to redelineate his old concept of decadence.

Keywords: Arseven's writings; decadence; eighteenth century; rationalism; Turkish Baroque; westernization



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