Chyngyz Aitmatov's Short Story, "The Red Scarf" and Intertextuality


BILIG, no.74, pp.71-95, 2015 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 74
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Journal Name: BILIG
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.71-95
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


Chyngyz Aitmatov's short story "The Red Scarf" is about the innocent love affair between Ilyas and Aysel, their marriage and eventual break-up. The work, which includes significant traces of post-World War II Kyrgyz geography, was very well-received by Turkish readers. In 1977 the story was adapted into film under the title, Selvi Boylum Al Yazmalim (The Girl with the Red Scarf) by Turkish director Atif Yilmaz, who imagined Turkish characters for his film version and set it in Anatolian geography. The film, which was accompanied by music composed in line with the film's thematic structure, was a great success and took its place as a significant example in Turkish cinema history. This article makes a comparative study of the literary and cinematic versions of Aitmatov's work, focusing on the relations between literature, cinema and music within the framework of intertextuality. The aim of the article is to explore the formal and thematic differences that emerge and the different effects that are created when a work written in a certain artistic medium is expressed through another artistic medium. This approach also puts emphasis on the polyphony of any work that is analyzed in a similar way. As Roman Jakobson says, this is the most effective way to concretize the artistic nature of the work.