Poet and writer (d. 1867, İstanbul - d. 26 Ocak 1912). He had no formal education but managed to educate himself. He didn’t stay for long as a clerk at the Gendarme Department and examining official, jobs to which he was appointed during his father’s service as a minister. He retired because of his fondness for drinking. Ahmet Cemal, who divorced all his five wives, was hospitalized and treated for abnormal behavior a few times. He is buried in Yenikapı Cemetery.
He was a productive writer in terms of poetry, short story and novel despite his irregular life. He is known as the “Poet of the Island” because of his poems narrating love in Büyükada, an island off İstanbul. In his short stories and novels that had a romantic style of narration, he used a plain and simple language, almost colloquial. In terms of his appreciation of poetry, he opposed the supporters of the “Scientific Wealth Movement” and adopted Muallim Naci’s approach, who was in favor of traditional poetry.
POETRY: Adada Söylediklerim (What I Said on the Island, 1886), Gazellerim (My Lyric Poems, 1894), Zade-i Şair (Son of the Poet, 1895), Âsâr-ı Celal (The Works of Celal, 1896), Sürud (Song, 1896).
SHORT STORY - NOVEL: Orora (Aurora, 1886), Cemile (Cemile, 1886), Venüs (Venus, 1886), Dehşet Yahud Üç Mezar (Horror or Three Graves, 1886), Dâmenalûde (Unchaste, 1887), Bir Kadının Hayatı (The Life of a Woman, 1890, new edition 2001), Margarit (Margaret, 1890), Vicdan Azapları (Remorse, 1890), Küçük Gelin (The Little Bride, 1892), Mükâfat (The Reward, 1894), Zehra (Zehra, 1895), Müzeyyen (1898), İskambil (Playing Cards, 1899), Piyango (Lottery, 1900), İsmete Taarruz (The Assault on İsmet, 1900), Kuşdilinde (In Bird Language, 1910), Leman (Leman, 1910).
REVIEW: Elvah-ı Masumâne ve Makalât-ı Edebiyye (Portraits of the Innocents and Articles about Literature, 1895).