The Tıflî stories are a corpus of prose fiction produced in the Ottoman Empire from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries and often regarded as the main precursor of the Ottoman novel. At a time when Ottoman high literature consisted almost exclusively of epic or mystical poetry, the Tıflî stories depicted the mundane adventures of everyday characters in the actual setting of Istanbul. Remarkably, they introduced techniques of literary realism into Ottoman fiction independently of similar techniques being developed in Western literature.
Tıflî Hikâyeleri serves two purposes: firstly, it offers a close literary analysis of the stories, establishing the textual evidence that enables us to view them as a genre. Secondly, through a careful application of historical process tracing, it maps each story onto its historical context, demonstrating how changes in the genre go hand in hand with the transformation of Ottoman society from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries.
Containing scholarly analysis as well as transliterations of the stories themselves, Tıflî Hikâyeleri is the first book-length academic study on the genre, and the first work to enable easy access to the primary texts for contemporary audiences and scholars alike.