ISTANBUL AND CULTURAL MEMORY
Institute of Balkan Studies & Center of Thracology
(Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) Bulgaria
Abstract: Paradoxes of history helped Istanbul become a focal point of the European humanitarian elite in the 1930s and in particular one of the topoi of literary theory. A key location in a number of individual destinies, it played an essential role in the establishment of distance as a critical method and served as an excellent observatory – due to its borderline status – for tracing literary processes diachronically and synchronically. As a result, Istanbul became not only the homeland of significant literary studies, but also an important stage in conceptualizing literature as a global phenomenon: a place where banishment goes beyond personal fate and becomes part of the biography and philosophy of comparative literature.
Keywords: Istanbul, Comparative Literature, Leo Spitzer, Erich Auerbach, 1933