Analysis of Evliya Celebi's Book of Travels in Terms of the Concept of Acaib Literature

Ozay Y.

MILLI FOLKLOR, no.103, pp.123-133, 2014 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.123-133
  • Gazi University Affiliated: No


Evliya celebi, in his work Seyahatna me (Book of Travels), draws the reader's attention to certain narratives by repeated recourse to specific narrative genres. One such genre, which is important for appreciating Evliya celebi as a storyteller and understanding the fictional dimensions of his work, is that of "marvels and wonders" (acayib ii garayib). Considering the long-standing history of Act/ ib in the tradition of travel narratives, Evliya's use of this category seems to be a conscious decision based on the Islamic tradition of travel writing. To fully understand what Evliya finds to be "strange and wondrous" and why he does so, the narratives in question can be classified under certain concepts, such as talismans and spells, magic and witchcraft, dreams and prophecies, adventures, physical appearances, animals, different beliefs or cultures, landforms, architectural structures, and so on. These include most of the basic concepts in Evliya's travels, and indeed in his life. Thus, it is difficult to say that the narratives of "marvels and wonders" in the Seyahatname focus on certain restricted topics. The common characteristic of these texts is that they all evoke a feeling of "astonishment". Besides this, Evliya rarely places a totally fictitious, supernatural, or fantastic story under the title of acayib or garayib. Rather, in the majority of the texts, these terms refer more than anything else to the realm of reality, rather than to that of fantasy. In this study, focusing on acayib a garayib of Seyahatname, the concept of Actiib literature will also