Old and New Questions about the Late Introduction of Ottoman Printing


Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

History Speaker Series


"In Search of Lost Time in Waiting for Godot: Old and New Questions about First Ottoman Printing Press"


Dr. Orlin Sabev

(Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia)

May 3, 2007 (Thursday)



The titles of Marcel Proust’s and Samuel Beckett’s famous literary works provide a good metaphorical basis for putting forward the issue whether the Ottomans lost their time in waiting for their own printer.

I will try to elaborate on this issue by putting emphasis on previously neglected or totally ignored questions. For instance, one could question why Ottoman printing was introduced exactly in the first half of the eighteenth century rather than wonder why Ottoman printing was introduced too late. Instead of trying to understand why the first Ottoman printing enterprise was unsuccessful one may explore whether it was successful, at least in some respects.