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Archival Dispersals: Literary Magazines as Mobile and Fragmentary Archives


This article reconceptualizes the fragmentary status of the archive of migration by focusing on Turkish German literary magazines Ezgi, Parantez, Şiir-lik and Allıturna. In the first part, I argue that literary magazines as intrinsically diasporic, mobile and spatially dispersed media provide us with a model that unsettles our understanding of archival engagement as well as Foucault’s theory of the archive. The fragmented status of this literay archive calls for anecdotal readings which exemplify the element of chance and randomness that characterizes archival research in general and calls into question the medial and institutional conditions of our access to the archival fragments. In the second part, I contrast these mobile and fragmented archives to the national archive, which imagines itself to be an archive of plenitude and completeness. While the latter valorizes preservation of a uniform past , the former prioritizes radical accessibility and dispersion, resists the “house arrest” of archivization and demands to be always in motion at the risk of dissemination with no return.

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