Critical Context

(Literary Essentials: World Fiction)

After Yashar Kemal had published his first novel, Ince Memed (1955; Memed, My Hawk, 1961), he embarked upon the trilogy beginning with The Wind from the Plain. The setting is essentially similar, and there are a certain number of resemblances where peasant ways of life are concerned, but in the later sequence of works, characterization focuses more directly on the oddly individual qualities of older villagers, whose responses to the demands of authority lead neither to open resistance nor to flight. To be sure, in Iron Earth, Copper Sky and The Undying Grass, tension arises as the rivalry between Memidik and the Muhtar finally leads to outright violence. In its way, Memed, My Hawk presents a sharper contrast between authority and violent revolt; government officials operate more explicitly by force rather than by the oblique, grasping means that the Muhtar employs. For that matter, The Wind from the Plain and its sequels show a sense of broad, indulgent humor. Thus, while the earliest work is a tale of high adventure, the others retell rather curious episodes from the timeless fabric of rural lore. Both approaches depend to a great degree upon folk traditions; in a larger sense,themes of banditry are complemented by popular religious concerns that, in the later works, endow ordinary people and events with their own particular qualities.

In other works, Kemal pursued further variations of these...

(The entire section is 512 words.)