"The One under the Shadow Does Not Have His Own": The Relationship Between Muharrem and Neset Ertas within the Anxiety of Influence


MILLI FOLKLOR, vol.17, no.129, pp.90-97, 2021 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 129
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.90-97
  • Keywords: Muharrem Ertas, Neset Ertas, the anxiety of influence, abdal tradition, father figure, bozlak
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Muharrem and Neset Ertas have a special place in Abdal tradition. In this regard, while Muharrem Ertas is accepted as one of the most important names of bozlak, a type of folk song, Neset Ertas is seen as the last great representative of Abdal tradition by being called as "the Plectrum of the Steppe" (Bozkirin Tezenesi). The fact that these two great names have both father-son and master-apprentice relationships creates the necessity for analyzing the two bards in terms of effect, being affected and originality. Exactly because of the mentioned reasons, it becomes possible to analyze the two bards through the concept of the anxiety of influence put forward by Harold Bloom in 1973. Bloom discusses the anxiety of influence and the struggle to be original between the successor poet, namely the son, and the predecessor poet, namely the father, under this concept which he uses to interpret all the literature history. According to this, the successor, the young poet in the position of son, feels anxious because of being affected by the predecessor, the father, for whom he has admiration and gratitude at the beginning and attempts to create an original poetry. As a child who wants to become a free person and an alternative power by getting rid of the father's authority, the young poet aims to 'give birth to his own father'. The only way for the young poet to get out of his father's shadow and give birth to his own is misreading. In this article, the conceptual frame that Bloom developed out of poetry is taken to an artistic dimension and the relationship between Muharrem Ertas and Neset Ertas is attempted to be interpreted. The remarkable side of the article is that the metaphorical father-son relationship Bloom assumes to occur between the successor and the predecessor exists between Muharrem and Neset Ertas in the real sense. In other words, Muharrem Ertas is Neset Ertas's father both in the real and the artistic sense. Neset Ertas starts his artistic life in the shadow of a powerful father figure who influences not only himself but also lots of people around him. He endeavours to reach an artistic position by going beyond the influence of father figure both metaphorically and literally with the anxiety of influence. Neset Ertas, who states that he refrained from playing saz (a stringed instrument), especially singing bozlak, in front of his artist father even at his mature times, goes into the effort of originality embodied with his saying 'The one under the shadow does not have his own' in this article. In this framework, the points that differentiate Neset Ertas, who always mentions the gratitude that he feels for his father in terms of art, on the way to originality are dealt with. First of all, it is emphasized that Neset Ertas is known as a great master of turku (ballad) whereas Muharrem Ertas is tightly connected to bozlak tradition and is in the representative position of it. It is claimed that this means creating an authority place apart from his artistic father besides finding a style for Neset Ertas's nature, who refrains from singing bozlak in front of his father. Additionally, it is highlighted that, unlike his artistic father figure, Neset Ertas not only sings the already existing ballads but also creates original ones instead. On the other hand, the article problematizes the innovations on musical instruments made by Neset Ertas who says 'I searched on my own, I found myself.' and the place of this on his originality effort.