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Oguz Atay was born on September, 12, 1934, in Inebolu, Kastamonu. His father Cemil Atay was a member of Parliament for three consecutive periods before the first democratic elections in 1950. He was schooled in Ankara at Maarif Koleji, which was one of the most prominent state colleges for the children of bureaucrats and rich tradesmen. Afterward he studied in the Civil Engineering Department of Istanbul Technical University in 1951.
After graduating in 1957, Atay was employed as a professor at the Istanbul State Engineering and Architecture Academy (now Yildiz Technical University) in 1960. was still a lecturer in the university when he died. However, Atay had something in mind when using the word “game” to describe his life. He lived seriously, but he did not feel that way. What he did were things he was officially supposed to do. His life as an engineer- academic did not reflect his character. Indeed, his character was not extrinsic.
According to his college yearbook, Atay was “an interesting type” among his peers. The yearbook talks about his accuracy. Oguz Atay never lived the life of a professional fiction writer. He was a professor of engineering who wrote novels and stories in his personal life. He never saw a second imprint of any of his books. And some of his books could only be published after his death. Depending on such staff, some people called Atay the “Turkish Kafka.”
Oguz Atay died young; he was just 43 when he passed away. His life as a writer lasted only seven years. His first novel “Tutunamayanlar” was awarded the TRT (Turkish Radio and Television) Novel Prize in 1970 and published in 1971-72. His name was first heard with his first novel “Tutunamayanlar” in 1970. Nevertheless, he published his novels rapidly one after another. After “Tutunamayanlar” was published in 1972, he published his second novel “Tehlikeli Oyunlar” (Dangerous Games).
The year 1975 was an abundant one for Atay. He published three books consecutively in the same year: “Korkuyu Beklerken” (Looking for the Fear), the only short story collection of the writer; “Bir Bilim Adaminin Romani” (The Novel of a Scientist), the biographic novel on Mustafa Inan, one of Atay’s professors in university; and “Oyunlarla Yasayanlar,” his only drama script. Atay wrote many things including a personal journal, which was published in 1987, 10 years after his death. And his unfinished novel “Eylembilim” (The Science of Action) was published in 1998. Unfortunately, Oguz Atay suffered from a brain tumor and could not finish his last novel. The eccentric writer died on December, 13, 1977, in Istanbul.
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