The most obvious characteristics of popular novels include serial production, specific formulas, and the reliance on clichéd heroes and events. Widely consumed popular literature receives much criticism, mostly based on the arguments that it is removed from literature’s problematizing and critical functions and that its serial production prioritizes financial gains.
It is remarkable that, until now, scholarly interest in popular novels has remained very limited in Turkey. With this lacuna in mind, Veli Uğur’s “Who Kissed the Countess?” presents a general introduction to (and a survey of) this genre. Given the impossibility of studying such a wide-ranging topic in its entirety, Uğur has chosen the politically significant date of 1980 as a starting point. Moreover, the author introduces in his survey categories such as romance, novels about finding the true path (hidayet novels), science fiction, detective novels, fantasy, horror, and political fiction, examining each of these in greater detail.
This book not only addresses readers who have a special interest in literature and enjoy reading popular novels, but also serves as a useful source for further research into this genre, from the perspectives of a variety of disciplines, ranging from cultural studies to political science.
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