Mehmed Uzun (1953-2007) and Mehmet Dicle (1977) are two well-known writers representing different generations of modern Kurdish literature. Both of them are known for their attention to Kurdish folklore. Their approach to oral tradition has evolved under the impact of growing literary experience, inspirations taken from world literature, and the deepening knowledge of Kurdish oral tradition, which has been increasingly collected and studied over recent decades in all parts of the Kurdish homeland. The modern Kurdish literature can be seen as an example of heritagization, cultural resistance and revitalization based on “acting in and through the heritage language“ (Justyna Olko). Moreover, the images, motifs and expressions derived from traditional stories can be applied metaphorically, to extend the „semantic reach of the new text, giving it a universal metaphoric resonance“ (Éilís Ní Dhuibhne). Accordingly, the oral tradition serves the modern Kurdish writers not only as a tool of nation building but also as a link with the global literary world.
Dr hab. Joanna Bocheńska, is researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies (Department of Iranian Studies) at the Jagiellonian University, Poland, and director of the Section of Kurdish Studies. From 2013 to 2018, she headed the project, „How to make a voice audible? Continuity and change of Kurdish culture and social reality in postcolonial perspectives.“ Its main result, the book entitled Rediscovering Kurdistan’s Cultures and Identities: The Call of The Cricket (palgrave macmillan) has been published in 2018. Her main interests include ethics, heritage, Kurdish classical and modern literature, Middle Eastern cinema and art.
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