A Psychoanalytic Look at the Time Regulation Institute

“The clock itself is space, its walking is time, its setting is human…

This shows that time and space exist with man!”

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s “Time Regulation Institute” is one of the novels that affected me most deeply. While I was thinking about it so much, I couldn’t help my desire to write my thoughts. It would be very insufficient for this novel to only contain a civilizational conflict from a social point of view and to deal with it around the westernization effort. There are many elements that make this novel different and special for me. The fact that the old-new opposition and the rejection of the past as a cultural issue are explained with beautiful ironies about the social issue, the way the beauty of Turkish is presented and the way it is fed from the psychoanalytic tradition point out the richness of this novel by pointing out that it is the product of a very special thought.

“The Time Regulation Institute” is a novel that needs to be examined in many ways, as it is one of the most important works of Turkish literature that sheds light on the situation of the country’s intellectuals, the social structure’s reflection of the pain of change in this conflict, and the spiritual conflicts of people in this changing situation.

First of all, the language of this novel by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar is a masterpiece that reveals the beauty of Turkish and it is fed by psychoanalysis so much that I think Tanpınar may be one of the first psychoanalysts in Turkey. He tried to find his own truth with the desire to reveal the layers, differences and obscurity of the soul by creating obstacles for himself without taking the easy way out. It is seen that the characters have dialogues similar to the conversations between the therapist and the patient as if they were during a psychoanalysis session, dreams are presented in a very aesthetic and rich way, various childhood memories and what the character evokes are often included.

If we look at the characters in the novel, Doctor Ramiz, one of the main characters, appears as someone who is almost obsessively devoted to psychoanalysis. The information shared by the other main character Hayri İrdal with his associations to Doctor Ramiz allows the therapist to establish connections between the narratives, thus establishing a cause-effect relationship between the behavior that occurs and the event that unconsciously caused this behavior. Because, as we know, dreams, the random jumping from one subject to another, the memories that one chooses to tell without realizing it, always carry traces of the unconscious.

During the psychoanalysis sessions in the novel, Doctor Ramiz, with his compelling comments, comes to the conclusion that Hayri İrdal, perhaps from a more “paternal authoritarian” position, has a “father complex” due to the lack of a father with whom he can identify. If we think from another point of view, the life of Hayri İrdal, which symbolizes the collapse and inability to catch the moment in the Republican period, as the paternal function has a function of limiting, framing and reminding the rule, may be similar to the fact that he does not like his father, who is a destroyed image, and constantly seeks another father for himself instead of Doctor Ramiz. As stated by , he cannot find what he is looking for by being a child.

While reading the book, I felt that I was dragged into a journey where time intertwined, just as in the analysis, where I oscillate between dream and reality. Surely, this is due to Tanpınar’s way of presenting dreams in an aesthetic way and conveying dreams and reality by intertwining them.

The following sentence in the novel arouses admiration for its summarization of psychoanalysis: “Look around, we always complain about the past, we are all busy with it. We want to change it from within.”.

“I didn’t want to build the clock houses myself. My curiosity, my pleasure was to learn about the human spirit. Is everyone like me or a little different?” Based on this sentence, it is seen that the author has a general desire for curiosity. The desire for mental health professionals who have more or less thought about, worked on and undergone therapy about their own spirituality, must be this curiosity about the spirituality of the other, starting from the desire itself.

Also, how can a writer who does not touch psychoanalysis to a person who has a broken, broken clock that does not work, who is sickcould he compare?

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