ABSTRACT

This article surveys the development and operation of biography in Turkish in light of a selection of publisher’s series presented in the region starting from the nineteenth century. In addition to introducing the biography series as gateways for a survey of life-writing activities in the region, the study explores how biographies translated from other languages appear in relation to the biographies that were originally written in Turkish. In this research setting, the terms “minor” and “major” are elaborated in two layers. First, the study interrogates the content of the selected series that embrace individuals from “minor” and “major” regions of the world; and second, it explores whether translation appears as a “minor” activity in these series that remains as an invisible form of textual production. In both contexts, the assets that represent the “minor” and “major” are considered not as active competitors but as the collaborators of the publisher’s commercial and social literary agendas.

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