Née en 1981 à Istanbul, Birgül Oğuz a obtenu sa licence en littérature comparative et son master en études culturelles à l’université Bilgi d’Istanbul. En 2006, elle a remporté la bourse Hazel Heughan dédiée au programme « Modernisme-Postmodernisme » de l’université d’Edimbourg.
Birgül Oğuz est l’auteur de deux livres de fiction : Fasulyenin Bildiği (2007) et Hah (2012). Ses nouvelles, essais, articles et traductions ont été publiés dans des magazines littéraires et des journaux turcs tels que Varlık, Notos Öykü, Dünyanın Öyküsü, Roman Kahramanları, Remzi Kitap, Radikal Kitap, İzafi, Duvar, Parşömen, Birikim et Felsefe Logos.
Durant l’hiver 2013, elle a été invitée à occuper un poste d’écrivain résident, par le programme « quartier21 » au MuseumsQuartier à Vienne. Actuellement, Birgül Oğuz prépare un doctorat en littérature anglaise à l’université Boğaziçi et, en même temps, elle donne des cours d’analyse de textes et de roman européen dans les académies Moda Sahnesi et Nazım Hikmet d’Istanbul.
Translated by Amy Spangler
'Your Soul of Salt' (pp. 29-30)
It was back in the days when I measured my weight by the teaspoon.
An incessant rain of chalk dust would weigh heavy on my eyelids. I never spoke on the way home. As the light of day bent, fading away, stitch by stitch the thread binding me to the world would come undone. One half of me would fall asleep, the other, silent.
At the knock-knock on the door in the evening, I would shake the dust from my eyelids and ask, “Who’s there?” That’s when father would enter. And with him, the drone of the world. And the drone of giant black turbines, the burble of acidic plaster, the noise of files and hammers, the smell of burnt oil and polyester, all of these would enter. He would enter, dragging his feet. I would grow up, knowing. I would take the saltpepperbread to the table.
When 'A Nation at Work' came on, ha-ha, right!, corns of wheat would fly across the screen, a potato dish would traverse the table and rice and pickles and tractors (you shouldn’t call the teacher “shit” sweetheart), it was a massive mess all over, bread crumbs, salt, threads, empty spools (God very well could have spoken to “noses” rather than “Moses” sweetheart, don’t be hard on yourself), when the plates were emptied we would gather the individual crumbs on the tips of our individual fingers, we could not let our eyes meet because the shame of being full would come between us, (but don’t let yourself get nailed to the wall like that again, okay, sweetheart, just keep the word proletariat to yourself), meanwhile the stomachs of right-wing chestnuts had already burst, having gorged themselves on the blood of workers, but the conquest of the sun was near, (you are the salt of the earth, don’t forget that), but there was no surge, just the limping likes of me with headline fonts on their butt, the noise of remembering was thick and had glued everyone to their homes, wheat rained down, as if snow falling but (to remember you have to forget, sweetheart, whatever you do, never forget), falling and falling, piling up on the middle of the table, three fingers thick, salt and snow were one and the same to our eyes, we would wait in respectful silence and before long he would come, Lenin, no taller than a salt shaker,