Who is Oğuz Atay?

Who is Oğuz Atay?
Who is Oğuz Atay?

Oğuz Atay (Date of birth 12 October 1934 - Date of death 13 December 1977), Turkish novel, short story and playwright.


Oğuz Atay was born on 12 October 1934 in İnebolu district of Kastamonu. His father, assize judge and Republican People's Party (CHP) VI. and VII. term Sinop, VIII. term Kastamonu deputy is Cemil Atay. Atay, who studied primary and secondary school in Ankara, graduated from Ankara Maarif College, which is today's Ankara College in 1951, and from Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Civil Engineering in 1957. After completing his military service between 1957-59, he worked as a repair and control staff in the construction of Kadıköy ferry pier. After resigning from his position, he became a faculty member at the Istanbul State Engineering and Architecture Academy (currently Yıldız Technical University), Department of Construction. Atay, who became an associate professor in 1975, also wrote a professional book called Topography. His articles and interviews were published in various magazines and newspapers. Oğuz Atay became the focal point of an important debate after the publication of The Cannot Holdlar in 1971-72. He won the 1970 TRT Novel Award with this novel.

One of the most important works of Turkish literature, Can't Hold On, was described by the critic Berna Moran as “a rebellion both in terms of what they say and the way they say”. According to Moran, literary competence in Those Who Can't Hold On has brought Turkish novels in line with the understanding of contemporary novels and has given it a lot.

Atay's work that made a great impact, Tutunamayanlar was followed by his second novel, Dangerous Games, which he published in 1973. Collecting his stories under the title While Waiting for Fear, Atay lived between 1911-1967. He published The Novel of a Scientist, which was the subject of Mustafa Inan's life, in 1975. His play named Oyun ile Yaşayanlar, published in 1973, was staged at the State Theater. Atay, the big project due to a brain tumor, "Turkey's soul" of the summer before December 13, 1977 and died in Istanbul. He was buried in Edirnekapı Sakızağacı Cemetery.

After he died, his books, Diary in 1987, and Action Science in 1998 were published. Atay's books, who could not even make a second edition in his life, attracted great attention after his death and were published many times. Oğuz Atay biography prepared by Yıldız Ecevit “I'm Here…” - Oğuz Atay's Biographical and Fictional World was published in 2005.

Korkuyu Beklerken was staged as a theater play by Other Theater in 2008. The novel Dangerous Games was adapted by Seyyar Sahne as a theater play with the same name in 2009 and is still being staged. His biographical work titled A Scientist's Novel was also adapted to the theater by Te Sahne under the name of A Scientist's Game: Mustafa İnan in 2012.

The mingling of dream and reality in his works, and metafiction as the main principle of fiction made Oğuz Atay the first Turkish writer to write a work in the postmodernist novel category. Oğuz Atay, especially in his novel, Cannot Hold On, tells about the loneliness experienced by the individual in modern urban life, his break from society, and the inner world of individuals who are alienated from social morality and stereotypes. His works contain criticism, humor and irony. Kastamonu Governorship has been giving Oğuz Atay Literature Awards on behalf of itself since 2007.

Published works 

  • The Unstoppable (1972)
  • Dangerous Games (1973)
  • A Scientist's Novel (1975)
  • Waiting for Fear (1975)
  • Living with Games (1975)
  • Diary (1987)
  • Action science (1998)

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