Le Comte de Monte-Cristo in Karamanlidika: In the Footsteps of Teodor Kasap
Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (1844) by Alexandre Dumas père is among the popular novels translated into many languages and scripts in the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century. The Karamanlidika (Turkish in Greek script) edition of 1882-83 has not hitherto been studied in a comparative reading with the source text. This article identifies the source text as the Turkish in Arabic script translation of Monte Kristo (1871) by Teodor Kasap, a prominent figure in Ottoman Turkish literature and press. This source text affected the ornate language in the Karamanlidika translation, in sharp contrast to the general tendency towards plainness in the Karamanlidika fiction of the time. Taking "translation"(terceme) as an umbrella term, the article analyses the practices of both Kasap and the unknown Karamanlidika translator in translating the novel. The paper also analyses the conventional paratexts of the Karamanlidika edition, such as the publication house, the dedication page and the subscriber's list in the back of the book to understand the mechanisms of book production and circulation among the Turcophone Orthodox community. One volume published in an Armeno-Turkish publishing house indicates an intercommunal publishing activity between Christian communities in mid-19th century. The subscriber's list from various cities of Asia Minor and the dedication to an Anatolian notable is typical in the sense it shows the dominance of the Anatolian readers in the style, language and vocabulary of the texts produced in Karamanlidika. © 2022 Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Brill Nijhoff, Brill Hotei, Brill Schöningh, Brill Fink, Brill mentis, Vandenhoeck Ruprecht, Böhlau, VR unipress and Wageningen Academic.