Dreams and Lives in Ottoman Istanbul: A Seventeenth-Century Biographer's Perspective (Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies)

October 30, 2020
Dreams and Lives in Ottoman Istanbul: A Seventeenth-Century Biographer's Perspective (Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies)

Dreams and Lives in Ottoman Istanbul explores biography writingand dream narratives in seventeenth-century Istanbul. It focuses onthe prominent biographer 'Aṭā'ī (d. 1637) and with his help showshow learned circles narrated dreams to assess their position in theOttoman enterprise. This book demonstrates that dreams providedbiographers not only with a means to form learned communities in apolitically fragile landscape but also with a medium to debate thecorrect career paths and social networks in late sixteenth andearly seventeenth-century Istanbul.By adopting a comparative approach, this book engages withcurrent scholarly dialogues about life-writing, dreams, andpractices of remembrance in Habsburg Spain, Safavid Iran, MughalIndia and Ming China. Recent studies have shown the shared rhythmsbetween these contemporaneous dynasties and the Ottomans, and thereis now a strong interest in comparative approaches to examiningcultural life. This first English-language monograph on Ottomandreamscapes addresses this interest and introduces a world wheredreams changed lives, the dead appeared in broad daylight, andbiographers invited their readers to the gardens ofremembrance.