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Full Access On the margins and between the lines: Ottoman women poets from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries

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On the margins and between the lines: Ottoman women poets from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries

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Ottoman women poets appear in the major biographical dictionaries produced throughout Ottoman literary history; however, unlike the overwhelming majority of male poets, their presence in these documents is justified or explained as something very unusual, and the stories of woman poets have been built up, over centuries, into a discourse dominated by the male dictionary writers. The first half of this article challenges this discourse, mapping its structure and proposing that it can no longer be taken at face value. In the second part, the article proposes a new approach, structured around an alternative set of categories for studying these biographical dictionaries—dictionaries which will remain the major sources for studying women poets until their own poetry can be fully deciphered and analyzed in relationship to each other.


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