London by Frederick Seidel

The woman who’s dying is trying to lose her life.
It’s a great adventure
For everyone trying to help her.
Actually, death avoids her, doesn’t want to hurt her.

So to speak, opens her hand and gently takes away the knife
Everyone well-meaning wants her to use on herself.
There is no knife, of course.
And she is too weak.

If you’re ill, the clinic near Zurich that helps
People leave this world won’t.
If you are that medicated and out of it and desperate,
You may not be thinking right about wanting to end your life.

If you’re near death, you may be too near
For the clinic to help you over the barrier.
She weakly screams she wants to die.
Hard to believe her pain is beyond the reach of drugs.

Please die. Please do. Her daughters don’t want her to die or do.
The world of dew is a world of dew and yet
What airline will fly someone that sick?
They can afford a hospital plane but

Can she still swallow? The famous barbiturate cocktail
The clinic is licensed to administer isn’t the Fountain of Youth.
But what if she gets there and drinks it and it only makes her ill?
And she vomits. It’s unreal. 

(London Review of Books, Vol. 32, No. 5, 11 March 2010)


Anglo-Turkish Relations: 2012 Olympic Games

In September 2010 Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan presented a letter of Sultan Murad III in response to Elizabeth I, as a gift to British Prime Minister David Cameron. The letter changed hands out of courtesy and in search of continuity of good relations. Erdogan sets off for London, again in July 2012 to have a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Turkish Prime Minister will attend the inauguration ceremony of 2012 London Olympic Games, which is on July 27th, Friday, as the guest of Cameron. The two prime ministers will watch the basketball game between women teams of Turkey and Angola. In the challenging, enthusiastic and unifying atmosphere of the Olympic Games the two prime ministers might have certain issues, namely incidents in Syria, military activities on the Turkish-Syrian border and findings from the Turkish plane which was downed by Syria last month in their thoughts. Erdogan might be interested in finding out the British Prime Minister’s perspective about Turkish-Syrian relations.

Good luck to all Turkish athletes, who are 114 in number (and gladly 66 of them are female). We would like to welcome them back with lots of medals in all categories they contest, with unforgettable memories and with appreciation of the world sports fans.



At the end of a war, you win or you lose. However, the most important thing is what you have done during this war time. Declaration of War  (La GuerreestDéclarée) is an extraordinary and heartfelt French film, which captures the emotions and memories of a young couple who find themselves at the center of war that requires hope and resistance. Although the names are different, this is a very personal and true story for filmmaker Valerie Donzelli, who directs, co-writes and co-stars with Jeremie Elkaim. Declaration of War is a fictionalized version of Donzelli and Elkaim’s real-life battles because their infant son Gabriel fought against cancer threatening their life.
Elkaim and Donzelli play youthful Parisians Romeo andJuliet, meeting in a club, joke about their names since it is an unusual and unexpected coincidence. When they learn eachother’s names, reminding Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Romeo and Juliet, the first thing they say is “we share a terrible fate.”Anything goes out of this world until the birth of their son Adam.Unexpected situations come with Adam and it is apparent that something is wrong with development of Romeo and Juliet’s son. He can’t walk, what is more he frequently vomits. Romeo and Juliet begin to look for why Adam is so different and the search is resulted with the diagnosis of the brain tumour.
Though the movie seems as if tragedy, it separates from known movies because Declaration of War is neither tragedy no rcomedy. Their war includes full of hope and determination so the movie is not exactly a tragedy. The movie’s characters, who cry, laugh, speak and sometimes keep silent, present audiences a dinamic story.The movie does cause mutual effects with opposing forces because some scenes are controversial in the movie. When the young couple is spending the night with their sick son at the hospital and the next, they’re making out with other people and partying. But it’s the tension between binaries that makes the film feel real and amazingly honest. This is what life is – a constant push and pull: tragedy and comedy; love and war; chaos and order; chance and destiny. Eventhough the movie begins with romantic and fabulous scenes, reality becomes a part of their life with their son’s illness. Besides, the movie has an autobiographic side with their son Gabriel. This point also increases the movie’s reality and effectiveness.
Furthermore, the music behind the movie is satisfying. Each time music invokes, it demands to be heard. The weird experimental song in the trailer is LaurieAnderson’s “Superman,” from 1981, and it fits with all one’s hear tone soul. The music makes the film better and the most memorable and affecting scene in the movie, Juliet has just learned about her son’s horrible diagnosis from a doctor. And suddenly, the regular sound of the hospital is replaced by a glitchy, pulsating beat the slowly builds and eventually erupts as Juliet sprints down the florescent lit hospital halls and eventually collapses on the shiny floor. (See 0:45-0:47 in the trailer.)
The movie is told in flashbacks so audiences know that the baby survives which indeed lets audiences experience their war time without the shadow of fear. Declaration of War is a self-referential but not a self-indulgent film, being selected as the French entry for The Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards.
"Declaration of War: The Music behindthe Movie." Review. Web log post. N.p., 31 Jan. 2012. Web. 20 July 2012. <http://sonicsmorgasbord.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/declaration-of-war-the-music-behind-the-movie/>.
Gizem Irmak Yolcu ELIT III


Suggested Movies for Summer

1. Deliverance (1972)
2. Hud (1963)
3. The Apartment (1960)
4. Winter's Bone (2010)
5. Dinner at Eight (1933)
6. Mary and Max (1933)
7. Frost/Nixon (1977)
8. The Cheat (1915)
9. Stagecoach (1939)
10. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
11. In the Mood for Love (2000)
12. The Cutting Edge (2004)
13. The Triplets of Bellevile (2003)
14. American Movie (1999)

Letter from Dr. Philip Major

I teach Shakespeare to literature undergraduates in London. I also run a
Shakespeare Study tour programme designed to provide affordable and
intellectually stimulating trips to the UK for overseas literature
students, taking in London and Stratford-upon-Avon, with three
Shakespeare performances included.

I would be most grateful if you would take a few moments to examine my
website. If you think this may be of interest to ELIT students and
faculty, or if you have any questions, I would be only too delighted
to hear from you. It would be a great honour for me to host students
and faculty from the University of Bilkent.

The website is:


Thank you very much for your time.

With all good wishes,

Dr Philip Major
University of London


Bilkent ELIT Today and Tomorrow

“Education is man’s most important enterprise,” as Moses Hadas states in Old Wine, New Bottles (1963, p. 3) and the art and science of interpretation is the central enterprise of the university curriculum in the humanities. In accordance with the given definitions of education and curriculum development, the English Language and Literature Department at Bilkent University aims at fostering students’ abilities to use the English language effectively in  both its oral and written forms according to the needs of the occupation they are involved in. To achieve such an end, in other words, to consider the professional, the social and the individual aspects of education, the department follows a curriculum which selects courses according to the recent changes of styles, and cultural and economic policies. The curriculum aims to cover modern worldviews. As indicated by T.S. Eliot in To Criticize the Critic and Other Writings (1978) three objectives of education are to enable a boy or a girl to make his or her living, to equip him to play his part as a citizen of democracy and to enable him to develop all the latent powers and faculties of his nature and so enjoy a good life. This paper will discuss the need to make changes in the curricula of English Language and Literature Departments in private universities in Turkey, particularly at Bilkent University, a need that has arisen as a result of the economic changes that the country and the world, at large has experienced lately.
Literature can amuse, delight and teach and thus equips individuals in modern society with the necessary tools for work and social life.  Turkey is a country where English is the second most frequently used language in business life, trade and global communication. The English Language and Literature Department with its educational priorities of developing language, communication and interpretative skills allows students to graduate with abilities which the market demands. Literature graduates could be employed in a wide variety of sectors, including tourism, education, transportation, sales, banking, translation and health care, if only they were given less limited curriculum about the subject area.  The English Language and Literature Department offers courses that enable students to study different genres, such as novel, poetry, the short story and drama from the medieval and early modern periods, to the twenty-first century. In addition to this core curriculum other courses enable students to develop their skills and interests in practical areas, such as computer literacy, literary and non-literary translation and drawing. They are free to take courses from different departments that appeal to their interests and that may prepare them for graduate studies or make them familiar with the occupational subjects of popular work areas. In Turkey changing trends in job selection lead college students and their families to look for programmes that will open the way to well-paid jobs. For this reason, engineering departments and business administration departments have admitted great number of students.
The global economic crisis that hit Turkey at the beginning of 2000 affected student admissions to Social Sciences Departments dramatically. The English Language and Literature Department has suffered from this decrease in numbers and received 70% fewer students than the previous year, i.e., 1999. The obvious reason is not graduating the students with the exact job title, an opposite case is evident in Law, Engineering and Medicine Departments. Such programmes equip students with the very needs of an occupation, the title of which is already bestowed on graduates as they are given their certificates. With a less concrete outcome of a definite job, English Literature Departments experienced a drastic decline.
A temporary solution for students whose subject area is English was to offer a programme with a teaching certificate. This way with the diploma students are given they can immediately become English teachers. To become an English teacher at private high schools in Turkey, the curriculum of which comprises of works in literature, literature courses still occupied the two third of the English Teacher Education Department. For three years of a five-year programme with teaching certificate students were given English and American literature courses. At private high schools with international baccalaureat (IB) programme English teachers discuss, interpret and analyse literature texts. Such an education at college level with a strong emphasis on English Language and Literature put the graduates among the most wanted list for high schools who want to employ new English teachers.
Since 2008 a reverse case  has been experienced at Bilkent University with a revival of interest in the English Language and Literature Department. The department now admits students ignoring the previous concern of giving students a specific job title, but had a new look this time by enriching the curriculum with minor programmes in political science, international relations, history or American Literature. Such a healing effect has been felt in the English Department with the change in curriculum, enabling students to enrol in a minor programme, and to be involved in the activities that may provide a basis for their future studies and job areas. 
To familiarize students with the conditions of the job environment, summer training are offered in the public and private business sectors. This real life experience brings the academic oriented medium of university education and practical work life closer. In the age of information, globalisation and competitive business environments, practical applications and on the work training to inhibit innovation integrate knowledge and universally applicable skills. A change in curriculum development involves a move from standards-based curriculum to outcomes-based curriculum. All the modules in the curriculum which include core courses, such as Shakespeare, literature of the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries as well as multi-disciplinary courses like translation, analysis of epics and the discussion of classical, philosophical and political texts offered by the Cultures, Civilizations and Ideas Programme help to achieve the balance between theoretical knowledge and practical skills. A unified, mixed approach of problem-solving, critical analysis and the use of different forms of argumentation prepares learners for the broader skills of work life, like crisis management, team-working and or individual competencies, the ability to perform and decide despite complicated, ambiguous problems in the best rational and effective way as possible in the global business environment. To foster creativity, entrepreneurialism, innovativeness, IQ, EQ and communication skills in the curriculum the range extends from humanities and the arts to social sciences. Allowing students to select courses from different departments according to their needs, interests and aspirations and continually enlarging the course options with a close concern on relevant and useful subjects make the English Literature curriculum meets the needs of the society primarily and the global environment at large.
It is evident that what C.S. Lewis calls as the two cultures, meaning literary and scientific cultures have more of a common and / or collaborative work, relationship today than they had a decade ago. While the gap between scientists and humanists become narrower, the appeal of the humanities courses for the students from engineering and other scientific departments indicate the need of a flexible curriculum. Science maintains its position as a prestigious area of learning and working to get satisfactory material gains, yet humanities offer literacy in literatures, critical analysis and a deeper understanding of the world through the interpretation of the widely known as well as newly produced texts, and consequently makes a fuller person.
Dr. Gül Kurtuluş



Faust is related to the German legend in which a man sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge. This legend was put pen to paper times without numbers before Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who was a German writer, artist and politician. There are more than one Faust today but people are more familiar with Goethe’s Faust than other versions. Also Christopher Marlowe, who was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era, wrote “Faust” and it was more popular than other versions. However, while Marlowe’s Faust asks personal desires from the devil, Goethe’s Faust is a character asking good wishes for all mankind. It is known that Goethe’s Faust identifies with Goethe’s own character.
In order to acquire an eternal wisdom, Faust bargains with the devil whose name is Mephistophilis. If Faust satisfies, he will give his soul the devil betting with God. Goethe’s Faust also gives place to love. Faust, falling in love with Margaret, who is innocent and pure, wants to get her with the help of Mephistophilis, so Faust and Margaret collaborate against Margaret’s mother but they have no bad intention. Mephistophilis kills her mother but Margaret is accused. She runs away with Faust and then she gets pregnant and kills her baby like a chicken with its head cut off. It is demanded Margaret’s death penalty. Faust, selling his soul for sagacity, has lost his wisdom during this period and he decides to break the agreement with the devil. This is the first part of Goethe’s Faust. The second part continues with how Faust retakes wisdom. What cultural values depend on and whether the absolute objectivity is available or not has been probed with a fine-tooth comb, in this part.
There are also movie versions of Faust. The first was reflected to the movie screen by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, who was one of the most influential German film directors of the silent era and a prominent figure in the expressionist movement in German cinema during the 1920s, in 1926. This silent Faust remained faithful to the true story. If you watch this movie, you will witness the brilliant use of lights and shadows. When the light stands for loving-kindness, the shadow represents wickedness. This differentiation drifts us to Murnau’s world. His film featured special effects that were remarkable for that time and many of these shots are still impressive today.
There are four different movie versions of Faust. The second “Doctor Faustus” is a 1967 English film directed by Richard Burton and the third Faust is directed by Jan Svankmajer in 1994. Finally the last is a 2011 Russian film directed by Alexander Sokurov. It is a free interpretation of the original Faust and its literary adaptions by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The film won the “Golden Lion” at he 68th Venice International Film Festival. Faust was honoured with the festival’s highest prize for the best film. The jury president was the American filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, who said when he presented the winner; “There are some films that make you cry, there are some films that make you laugh, there are some films that change you forever after you see them; and this is one of them.”
The movie premiered on 8 September 2011 in competition at the 68th Venice International Film Festival. 3 days later it was screened in the Masters section of the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Johannes Zeiler brings to life the character of Faust. Mephistophilis is Anton Adasinsky and Margarete (Gretchen) is Isolda Dychauk.

Gizem Irmak Yolcu  ELIT III