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Turkish Voices, written in 1989/90, is based on Üvercinka (Pigeon English), the Second New Turkish poet Cemal Süreya’s first book of poetry. In this book, striking erotic passages of uncanny psychological insight are mixed with cute refrains or half-digested surrealist lines that blur the text, turning the poems into general appeals for freedom, overlooking the victimization of the female persona, who never speaks. A work of deconstructive translation, Turkish Voices offers a reworking of Üvercinka, containing fragments from different poems in Süreya’s book, some ending in mid-sentence, with other fragments isolated, spliced together, and altered. Fragments from other Turkish poets have also been added, splitting the lyric persona and opening up its unity to let in other personae. Finally, poems written earlier by the author himself join the text. Murat Nemet-Nejat is a poet, translator, essayist, and editor of Eda: An Anthology of Contemporary Turkish Poetry (Talisman, 2004).
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