The Time Regulation Institute

By Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar, trans. Maureen Freely and Alexander Dawe, with an introduction by Pankaj Mishra

Published by Penguin Classics

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‘Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar is undoubtedly the most remarkable author in modern Turkish literature. With The Time Regulation Institute, this great writer has created an allegorical masterpiece, which makes Turkey's attempts to westernize and its delayed modernity understandable in all its human ramifications ’
Orhan Pamuk
Book Description

One of the greatest and most overlooked novels of the twentieth century, by an author championed by Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk, The Time Regulation Institute appears here in English for the first time-more than fifty years after its original publication in Turkish.

This is the story of the misadventures of Hayri Irdals, an unforgettable antihero who, along with an eccentric cast of characters (a television mystic, a pharmacist who dabbles in alchemy, a dignitary from the lost Ottoman empire, the “life-artist” Halit), founds The Time Regulation Institute. The institute’s quixotic quest: to make sure all the clocks in Turkey are set to Western time. Thus begins a brilliant satire about the calamitous arrival of Western and corporate values in tradition-bound Turkey.

An uproarious tragic omedy that is still startlingly relevant, The Time Regulation Institute illuminates the collision of East and West, tradition and modernity, that has been playing out in Turkey since the early twentieth century.

AHMET HAMDI TANPINAR (1901–1962) was a poet, short story writer, novelist, essayist, literary historian, and professor. He is considered one of the most significant Turkish novelists of the 20th century. Deeply influenced by Valéry and Bergson, he created a unique cultural universe in his work, bringing together a European literary voice and the sensibilities of the East.

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