Modern readers associate the sonnet form with romantic love and with good reason: the first sonnets written in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Italy celebrated the poets’ feelings for their beloveds and their patrons. These sonnets were addressed to stylized, lionized women and dedicated to wealthy noblemen, who supported poets with money and other gifts, usually in return for lofty praise in print. Shakespeare dedicated his sonnets to “Mr. W. H.,” and the identity of this man remains unknown.
It traces a woman through a single day, but that day is simultaneously the most vividly wonderful and ultimately terrible of her life. She is an English widow who becomes mesmerised by the almost suicidally reckless gambling of a failed Polish diplomat one evening in Monte Carlo. From this first spark of interest, she is drawn into his troubled, unstable life.
This collection of papers by Prof. İlber Ortaylı mainly deals with the political, economic, social and cultural transformations, which Ottoman Empire has undergone in its last centuries. Within the frame of millet conception, which was unique to the Empire as an administration system, this book looks into the areas of transformation, including the modernisation struggles, tendencies in historiography, structural and judicial changes in family relations, provincial and urban structures and the relations between Russia and the Ottoman Empire.
Prof. Ortaylı details the millet system through allocating special titles for non-Muslim minorities in the Empire like the Jews and the Greeks. Similarly, he reveals the relations between Ottomanism and Zionism in the Empire’s last decades. After giving a picture of the constitution and the parliament, he glances at how the history of the Ottoman Empire and Russia are approached in the historiographies. Turning back to the debates on modernization, he explains the background, starting from the second Vienna siege in 1683. In the following chapter he examines the structural changes in the international affairs of the Ottoman state. Before delving into the changes in civil life, he assigns two chapters to the provincial structures in the Empire’s port cities.
Meticulously examining the archives and sources about the late Ottoman history, Prof. Ortaylı gives a comprehensive and multifaceted picture of the Empire. Moreover, he utilises a wide range of Ottoman archives. Thanks to his language skills, he provides insights from several scholars whose writings in different languages enrich this book.
Chess Story, also known as The Royal Game, is the Austrian master Stefan Zweig’s final achievement, completed in Brazilian exile and sent off to his American publisher only days before his suicide in 1942. It is the only story in which Zweig looks at Nazism, and he does so with characteristic emphasis on the psychological.
Travelers by ship from New York to Buenos Aires find that on board with them is the world champion of chess, an arrogant and unfriendly man. They come together to try their skills against him and are soundly defeated. Then a mysterious passenger steps forward to advise them and their fortunes change. How he came to possess his extraordinary grasp of the game of chess and at what cost lie at the heart of Zweig’s story.
The Merchant of Venice in which a merchant in 16th century Venice must default on a large loan provided by an abused Jewish moneylender.
“Racism, love, secrets and loans. The play strikes true to certain parts of the modern world as well as the time it was set and written. It is compelling that Shakespeare was able to write about such things in a way that fitted into the comical manner of the era. To a modern reader, it isn’t so much comical but instead a tragedy and something that shows all the things that are wrong with the world.”