When Molly Bloom says yes to an embeetled charmer named Gregor Samsa, readers are invited to delight in an unholy coupling of sorts.1 Inspired by Jorge Luis Borges in 1941 and millennial fervor at the century’s end, Kemal Kurt (1947–2002) crafts a fanciful novel in which over 180 fictional characters drawn from literatures around the world vie for survival. (AIi Itir from Ören’s Please, No Police resurfaces among them.) Unlike Borges, who entertains the possibility that the library of the universe is “‘total’-perfect, complete, and whole,” with room to house “all that is able to be expressed, in every language” (23), Kurt casts the “conditio protagonista” (131) as a bloodthirsty and anxious affair. Assassinations abound as storied figures poison, shoot, bomb, or otherwise do away with each other in response to reports that only one fictional work of modernity will endure beyond 2000 in the Library of Babe1, where shelf space is at a premium and new rules of storage will soon prevail. Molly and Gregor’s erotic pastiche provides the contrapuntal backdrop to this cutthroat competition, which reflects tongue-in-cheek on the twinned specters of globalization and digitalization.2 According to Jerome McGann, who predicts a radical transformation of cultural archives with considerably more enthusiasm than Kurt’s beleaguered protagonists can muster, advances in digital technology that have accelerated since the early 1990s have initially had their “greatest impact on the library” itself (3).


Digital Technology Shelf Space European History Cultural Narrative Turkish Migration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Leslie A. Adelson 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie A. Adelson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations