The Time Regulation Institute

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1/7/2014
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics

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A literary discovery: an uproarious tragicomedy of modernization, in its first-ever English translation

Perhaps the greatest Turkish novel of the twentieth century, being discovered around the world only now, more than fifty years after its first publication, The Time Regulation Institute is an antic, freewheeling send-up of the modern bureaucratic state.
At its center is Hayri Irdal, an infectiously charming antihero who becomes entangled with an eccentric cast of characters—a television mystic, a pharmacist who dabbles in alchemy, a dignitary from the lost Ottoman Empire, a “clock whisperer”—at the Time Regulation Institute, a vast organization that employs a hilariously intricate system of fines for the purpose of changing all the clocks in Turkey to Western time. Recounted in sessions with his psychoanalyst, the story of Hayri Irdal’s absurdist misadventures plays out as a brilliant allegory of the collision of tradition and modernity, of East and West, infused with a poignant blend of hope for the promise of the future and nostalgia for a simpler time.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Author Biography

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.

MAUREEN FREELY (translator) is the principal translator of Orhan Pamuk, the Nobel Prize–winning Turkish novelist. She lives in England.

ALEXANDER DAWE (translator) is an American translator of French and Turkish. He lives in Istanbul.

PANKAJ MISHRA (introducer) is an award-winning novelist and essayist whose writing appears frequently in The New York Review of Books, Granta, and The Times Literary Supplement.

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