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Attempts to Destroy and to Save Alpamysh
RUSSIAN IMPERIAL POLICIES IN CENTRAL ASIA
2 H. B. Paksoy
Another by-product of Russian rule was the establishment of Russian Orthodox churches in the region and missionary work among the local population. These efforts were begun with the conquest of Kazan by Ivan IV (1552) and continued in various forms thereafter. Part of religious proselytization, especially in the 19th century, included efforts to encourage the spread of Russian or to create Cyrillic alphabets for the native language. In this regard, the work of Russian-Orthodox missionaries, led by N. I. Il'minskii,3 a contemporary of Divay, provides a clear example of the interlinkages among these policies. Furthermore, later Soviet language policies (discussed in detail in the following section) would be inspired by Il'minskii's example.
The Il'minskii method was originally based on an attempt to separate Tatar and Kazakh (then called "Kirghiz") dialects and establish for the latter a Cyrillic alphabet. Il'minskii strove to emphasize tribe-specific and regional vocabulary, using Cyrillic characters to stress differentiation visually and codify variations in pronunciation, however minor. Another Russian Orthodox missionary and graduate of the Kazan Academy, Mikola Ostroumov, built on Il'minskii's work to attempt the creation of a "Sart" language for the settled population which used the Tashkent dialect and to differentiate it from Tatar and Kazakh.4
Ostroumov established a newspaper in Tashkent, Turkistan vilayetinin gazeti: Tuzemnaia gazeta, which was published for 35 years, from 1883-1917 (from 1890 to 1896, it is known that 600-700 copies per issue were produced). He called the language of the newspaper "Sartiye" and tried to establish a circle of "Sart literature" around it. Togan5 remarks that this newspaper's language was a "broken (bozuk)" dialect and records Ostroumov's "special methods" for distancing this "language" from "Tatar" and "Kazakh:" "For example in the articles whenever the words 'kelgen,' 'toqtay turgan,' 'tilegen,' 'buyuk,' 'pek,' 'guel,' etc., appeared, he would become agry at these words, labeling them as 'Tatar' and 'Kazakh,' and insert 'kilgan,' 'toqhtay durgan,' 'khohlegan,' 'katte,' 'cude,' 'ciraylik,' respectively. Furthermore he would change the spellings of loan words, for example 'vagon,' 'poezd' would become 'vagan' and 'fayiz.' This exaggerated pronunciation style was mostly used while Ostroumov was publishing his newspaper. Despite that in the works of the literati and the journalists of Kokand and Khiva, the language preserves the beauty of their
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 3
Thus distorting the phonological aspects of local usages constituted a step toward the later Soviet policy (discussed below) of recording such differences in subsets of Latin, then Cyrillic orthography, and dubbing each product a "separate language." When the Soviet sources claim that Central Asian peoples did not have a written language of their own before they came under the protection of the Russian elder brother, and that the Soviets gave them one, this is what is to be understood.6
It should be noted that these efforts build on resentment between nomads and Tatars, generated in the reign of Catherine II (1762-96) when she granted privileges to Tatar merchants and mullahs for conducting trade (and acting as semi-official representatives of her government) with the cities of Transoxiana and, at the same time, to spread Islam among the nomads. It was apparently Catherine's belief that Islam would break the unity of the oymak and render the nomads more malleable.
CENTRAL ASIAN RESPONSES
The first wave, striving to make Alpamysh available in print, was based in Kaan in the latter part of the 19th and he beginning of the 20th centuries. Very little is known about most of them, since they largely avoided using their names as a protective measure to avoid reprisals from the Tsarist secret police.7 The earliest known printed Alpamysh (Item 1 in Bibliography below) carries the following inscription in its title page: "This episode is related by Yusuf bin Hoca Sheyhulislam oglu. The date is the 1316th year of
4 H. B. Paksoy
the Hijra; 8 March 1899 according to the Russian calendar. I finished it in one day and one night. The mistakes are due to the shortage of time."
This edition must have proved popular with the native readership, judging from the seven additional printings between 1901 and 1916 (noted in the Bibliography). According to Togan,8 this man's broader efforts contributed substantially to the establishment of Kazakh-dialect publishing and the adaptation of various stories to Kazakh tastes:
"In the 1880s, works in the Kazakh literary dialect started appearing in print. One of those who has served as propagator in this line is Seyhulislamoglu [sic] Yusufbek. He is a hoca from Qarkara [sic]. He is considered to be the Ahmed Midhat9 of the Kazaks. He wrote books as long as a few hundred or even a few thousand couplets within a day or even a night.
"He published many works of popular literature (halk edebiyati), especially Shi'i legends such as those tales of Hazreti Ali, Hasan and Husein, Kerbela, Salsal Zerkum, etc.; also [he published] the Iranian dastans such as Rustam, Jemshid, Ferhad-u Shirin in the Kazakh dialect. Yusufbek adapted these Islamic Iranian works to the Kazakh life. Ali and Husein, in his works, are in the full sense nomadic Turk-Kazakh types. From this point of view his works have performed great deeds in the publication of Islamic traditions. "Radloff, in amazement, records that one such work, Kissa-i Jumjume undercut completely the work of Christian missionaries that had been going on for years.10 Those old Turkish dastans, mythology and folklore still alive among the Kazakhs were made known to Europe by Radloff, Altynsaryn, Letsch, and Platonov. On the other hand Yusufbek, of course, mixing a certain amount of Islamic elements into them, collected and recorded them from among the people for the benefit of successive generations. "Yusufbek's Kazakh can be understood by those Turks who are not Kazakh and his grammar is taken from the old agataygrammar. Among his publications, Qizjibek, lpamysh, Ayman Cholpan are well known."
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 5
Perhaps the most eminent of this "first wave" was the man whose redaction of Alpamysh appears in English translation in Chapter Three, Abubakir Ahmedjan Divay [Divaev]. Divay's career is known partly because he spent his life in Russian imperial service, where he gathered his material, and became famous as an ethnographer who published widely under the old regime. He held several posts under the Bolsheviks. Divay, a Bashkurt,11 was born on 19 December 1855 in Orenburg and lived most of his life among the Kazakhs. He attended the Orenburg Nepliuev military academy, studying first in the Asiatic Division, where the majority of his classmates were reportedly Kazakhs, and second in the division for the preparation of translators of Oriental languages for the steppe regions.
In 1876-1877, at the age of 21, Divay left school to accept an appointment in the Russian bureaucracy of the Turkistan krai. There in the southern steppe region Divay travelled and was able to visit many Kazakh, Kirghiz and Uzbek auls. He was Divisional Inspector12 of the Aulie-Atinsk uezd and then became translator and junior official of Special Missions attached to the Governor-General of the Syr-Darya oblast'. This latter post gave him wide opportunities to travel throughout the Turkistan krai.13
In 1883, Divay began collecting ethnographic materials. The following year, the Governor-General of the Syr-Darya oblast', N. I. Grodekov, initiated the collection of information on Kazakh and Kirghiz customary law in order to publish a code of juridical customs of the nomadic peoples (among whom were included "Kazakh," "Kirghiz"14 and "Karakirghiz") of the Syr-Darya oblast'.15 While working on this project, Divay reportedly collected "historical legends from ancient manuscripts, in the hands of educated Kirghiz, [and] heroic poems, aphorisms, fables, riddles, incantations, etc."16 A portion of these materials was published in Grodekov's book and the remainder, including fables, legens, songs, poems and dastans, were publishd in Sbornik materialov dlia statistiki Syr-Dar'inskoi oblasti' for 1891-1897, 1901, 1902, 1904, 1905, and 1907. These articles by Divay were reviewed by various prominent Orientalists.17
Divay also published his articles in other periodicals in the 1890s including the journal Okraina, the almanac Sredniaia Aziia and the semi-official Turkestanskaia Vedomost'. Also at this time he began to publish in scholarly journals of the major Oriental and ethnographic societies of the Empire: Zapiski Vostochnogo otdela Russkogo arkheologicheskogo obshchestva; Izvestiia Obshchestva arkheologii, istorii, i etnografii; Izvestiia Turkestanskogo otdela Russkogo geograficheskogo
6 H. B. Paksoy
obshchestva, and Zapiski Russkogo geograficheskogo obshchestva. In 1896, Divay was one of the founding members of the Turkestanskii kruzhok liubitelei arkheologii (Turkistan Circle of Lovers of Archeology).18 In 1906, Divay became Director of the Tatar [sic] school in Tashkent and participated in the compilation of materials on Central Asia in the Turkestanskii sbornik statei i sochinenii otnosiashchikhsia k Srednei Azii, 1878-1887.19
Divay's twenty fifth anniversary as a Turcologist and ethnographer was celebrated in 1915. In connection with this occasion, the journal Zhivaia Starina published reviews of his work and much biographical material. This was not the end of his efforts, however, which continued under the Bolshevik regime.
SOVIET ERA POLICIES
The language of "backwardness" was abandoned, but the Stalinist criteria for determining a "nation" in the Western European sense was used to imply the same thing. The Central Asian Turks -- a dangerously homogenous mass that seemed unreceptive to communism borne by Russian workers -- had to be "pared down" into more convenient units -- "nations." To conform to the Stalin model as articulated in his 1913 work "Marxism and the National Question," each nation had to have, or in this case be given, a single distinct language, territory, economy and history. The Turks of CentralAsia, despite regional economic diversty, shared a single language, territory and historical tradition. Thus they seemed to constitute, by the Stalin criteria, one huge "nation." The Soviets set about the task of making several "nations" in its place. The steps were obvious -- create separate territories, and implant contrived "literary languages," economy and histories in each. The guiding imperative was to create differences and division. Dialects became "separate languages," tribal or other subgroups become "nations." New
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 7
histories could "prove" the historic distinctiveness of each "nation" by projecting the new differentiation back into history.20 In the way, stood the dastans.
Boundary Changes and Language Reform
Terminology also changed. The term "Kirghiz" was used in the late Russian imperial period to denote Turkic speakers east of Orenburg. In the Soviet period, those who had been called "Kirghiz" began to be called "Kazakh"22 and those to the southeast of the "Kazakh steppe" who had been called "Kara-Kirghiz" before the 1917 Revolution were called simply "Kirghiz." This renaming coincided with the division of the former Turkistan krai and the protectorates of Bukhara and Khiva into Soviet Socialist Republics and with the "language reforms" of the 1920s and 1930s.
In the Soviet period, a language policy was implemented in Central Asia which strove to establish the various dialects as separate languages.23 The current Uzbek, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Turkmen and other Central Asian "languages" (the designation "Turkic" in connection with any of them is mostly avoided in popular, though not scholarly, publications) so rigidly favored by the Soviets were, as noted above, inspired by Il'minskii's work.
The formulation of "new" alphabets (actually the addition of new symbols to the Latin, then the Cyrillic alphabets) for each "language" is yet another aspect of this policy. The exploitation of phonetic differences between the local dialects was the starting-point. Therefore when the different pronunciations are written down with the aid of deliberately differentiated subsets of Cyrillic, the foundations of "independent" languages are established. In essence, ths practice amounts to no more than changing the spelling rules and calling the final product a "language." According to such rules, the English spoken in Alabama, Boston and London would be written slightly differently and be classified as separate languages.
To take a simple but representative example, the publishing houses of the Academies of Sciences are named "knowledge," (from the Arabic 'ilm) as follows: Gyilem (Tatar), Elm (Azerbaijani Turkish), Ylym (Turkmen), Ilm (Uzbek), Ghylym (Kazakh) and Ilim (Kirghiz). Significantly, nearly all
8 H. B. Paksoy
dictionary entries for this word use the Turkic term bilim in the definition.
Noticeable in this example is another feature of these alphabets, the use of different characters for the same sound -- the "e" in Azerbaijani, the "y" in Turkmen and the "i" in Uzbek represent approximately the same sound. The character for the "j" (which does not exist in Russian and must always be represented by the cumbersome "dzh") varies from alphabet to alphabet.24
Furthermore, each of these alphabets is organized in a different order, particularly placing letters that do not occur in Russian in various places in each alphabet. Although all alphabets begin with "a" they all end differently: Azerbaijani ends with "j" and "sh;" Tatar, with "ng" and "h;" Kazakh with the Russian characters "iu" and "ia," which exist in various locations in the Tatar and Uzbek alphabets but were removed from Azerbaijani in a 1957 reform; and Uzbek ends with "gh" and "kh." The letter "gh" follows the Russian "g" in Azerbaijani (where it is the fifth letter) and in Kazakh (where it is the sixth), but is placed next to last in the Uzbek alphabet and does not exist at all in Tatar. The letter "u" comes toward the end of all alphabets, but, again, in different sequence. In Kazakh it is 12th from last, in Azerbaijani seventh from last, in Uzbek and Tatar, fourth from last.25
The Arabic alphabet, the one used at the turn of the century was at least the sixth one to be employed by Turkic speakers, effectively obliterates regional phonetic differences. Turki, usually written in a series of Arabic alphabet subsets, is still read with no trouble by almost all literate Central Asians over the age of fifty. This does not mean, however, that the Arabic alphabet is the most suitable writing system for Turki. The three vowel signs in the Arabic alphabet fall far short of representing the minimum eight vowels required. The created subsets of Cyrillic for the"languages" of Central Asia err in the opposite direction codifying one region's pronunciatio and establishing that spelling as the "approved" literary form.
The next step in the creation of "new languages" was to highlight the vocabularies not common to all the dialects. Depending on the locality, every dialect may contain such specialized words through historical development or contact with other languages. These geographic or tribe-specific words have often been cited by the Russian linguists as yet another proof of the existence of "independent" languages. To facilitate the proliferation of these "languages,"
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 9
particularly among the youth, Soviet linguists have been turning out scores of grammars for each "language" since the 1920s. The lexicographers are even busier, having compiled at least two dictionaries per "language" over the past sixty years. These dictionaries, especially the ones from the native "language" to Russian, include various words from the Soviet vocabulary (including many words from Western languages that have entered Russian). Among the relevant entries are "kolkhoz," "sovet," "radio," "tank", (translated as "kolkhoz," "sovet," "radio," and "tank," respectively) as though these were native words which required translation.
The Campaign Against the Dastan Alpamysh
Nonetheless, a campaign against the dastans began in 1951. Alexandre Bennigsen describes the general pattern: "The campaign to purge the national cultures of those elements incompatible with the dominant Marxist-Leninist world view began in 1951. Initial attacks followed a standard pattern, beginning with derogatory comments in a local newspaper, Pravda or Literaturaia Gazeta. The theme would then be picke up by the Central Committee of the respective republican Communist Party, next by various local, political, social, academic or literary organizations, and finally by the oblast', raion or city Party Committee, the Komsomol, Academy of Science, state
10 H. B. Paksoy
university, Union of Writers and so forth. The operation would culminate...with: (1) the universal condemnation of local intellectuals who were charged with idealizing the bourgeois-nationalist aspects of their national patrimony; and with: (2) a shower of approving telegrams and letters addressed to the Central Committees of the republican Party organizations, thanking their leaders for rescuing the Socialist Fatherland from the clutches of its most vile enemies."28
The treatment of Alpamysh followed this pattern. In the late 1940s, the "progressive" elements of the dastan had been praised. Alpamysh was deemed "One of the most perfect epic poems in the world;"29 Elsewhere it was called "the liberty song of Central Asian nations fighting against the alien invaders;"30 "and an "authentic popular movement, voicing the ideology of the toiling masses."31 However, when it was discovered that the Alpamysh strengthened the sense of individual identity and independence of their creator-heir-owners, the tone changed rapidly. During the "crisis" of which Bennigsen spoke, an attack was mounted on Alpamysh similar to that against other dastans, charging it with being: "Impregnated with the poison of feudalism and reaction, breathing Muslim fanaticism and preaching hatred towards foreigners."32
Alpamysh was condemned by the Central Committee of the Uzbekistan Communist Party before its tenth plenum33 by a special conference of historians of literature at the republican university in Samarkand34 and by the joint session of the Academy of Sciences and the Union of Soviet Writers in Tashkent. At this last meeting, the defenders of Alpamysh were declared to be "Pan-Turkic nationalists."35 The key article in this assault seems to have been "Ob epose 'Alpamysh'," ("About the epic 'Alpamysh'") which appeared in Pravda Vostoka (Tashkent) in January 1952.36
The article was authored by A. Abdunabiev, identified elsewhere37 as a doctoral student of the Uzbek section of the Marx-Engels-Lenin Institute of the Central Comittee of the CPSU, and by A. Stepanov, who is not identified, but is apparently a Russian.
The Abdunabiev and Stepanov article is one of the few detailed and specific attacks on Alpamysh. It was the only such article printed in the first five months of 1952 in Pravda Vostoka, the Uzbek Party organ which was a leader in this campaign. Later articles merely repeat charges made by Abdunabiev and Stepanov. Their article also served as the basis for the March 1952 meeting (later called the "Trial
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 11
of Alpamysh") as reported in Pravda Vostoka.38 "Ob epose 'Alpamysh'" begins by recalling the importance of the theme of opposition to foreign and local [class] oppressors in the popular oral tradition. It states that this tradition glorifies the moral qualities of the hero, his actions in the name of justice, the protection of his homeland and people and his faith in love and friendship. The authors concede that the Uzbeks have a rich oral tradition of this type, but state that Alpamysh is not a part of it.
Primarily, the authors blame the folklorists for the mistaken praise of the dastan Alpamysh. These folklorists were not guided by the classics of Marxism-Leninism and therefore were able to see in this folklore only "the living past." They evaluated dastans only from the literary point of view, which led to serious ideological errors including an idealization of a work that contains harmful ideas.
Abdunabiev and Stepanov then enumerate the various harmful ideas of the dastan, mentioning in passing, its similarity to the "reactionary epic" Dede Korkut. It is stated that their remarks are based on the Penkovskii translation of the 1939 printing of the Fazil Yoldashoglu variant of Alpamysh.
The central figures of the dastan Alpamysh are khans who have slaves -- two clearly "anti-populist" motifs. The authors state:
"The embodiment of terrible 'evil' and 'vice' in the epic are represented by some 'unbelievers,' settled in the country of the Oirots [Kalmaks], which is a six-month journey from Baysun. As we learn from the poem, the Oirot people live peacefully, occupied in land cultivation, cattle raising and never dreamed about making raids on the land of the Kungrats."
The authors of this article describe the welcome given Baysari's family in the land of the Kalmaks and criticize Baysari's refusal to permit Barchin to marry an "unbeliever." This, the authors state, fosters hatred based on religion. Alpamysh himself, the authors continue, has no ositive qualities. He goes after his betrthed only under pressure from his sister. Indeed, the desire to save his bride is merely Alpamysh's excuse to cover up his goal of slaying enemies, whom he defines as all unbelievers -- more
12 H. B. Paksoy
evidence of hatred based on religion. The pair has little to say about Alpamysh's behavior in the land of the Kalmaks. The bloodshed accompanying his return, however, is noted and held up as another harmful example. Ultan (the usurper and suitor to Barchin) is portrayed as willing to step down from power on Alpamysh's return. The defeat of Ultan by Alpamysh, according to the authors, is meant to convey a lesson -- "only a 'pure-blooded khan' may rule a country, and a slave must remain a slave." Clearly, conclude the authors, this dastan is not "populist," but rather is a glorification of khans, religion, slave-holding and the power of "feudals." Even the attempt of Penkovskii, in his translations of the dastan, to introduce "improvements" and "refinements," they say, cannot conceal the "reactionary essence" of this dastan.
This remark about Penkovskii's "improvements" and "refinements," made so casually in this article, are striking. It is one of the rare admissions of deliberate changes introduced into a translation. In this context, it can be understood that the changes were made to attempt to bring the contents of the dastan into conformity with current Russian tastes. Since this is the translation that is regarded as "the most complete" at a later date, this early alteration will have important repercussions and will be discussed again below.
Writing in the 1960s, Tura Mirzaev, discussed some of the charges levelled against Alpamysh during this "crisis" period. Describing a joint meeting of the Uzbek SSR Academy of Sciences Institute of Language and Literature and the Uzbekistan Soviet Writers Union (March 1952), Mirzaev argues that this meeting, which Shark Yilduzi called "The Trial of the dastan Alpamysh," distorted the objective sense of the dastan. Alpamysh was accused of idealizing the feudal past and bearing traces of Pan-Islamism and Pan-Turkism. It was declared devoid of historical or educational value. The scholars of the chairs of literature of he Uzbek State University declared their readiness to instruct their students in the dangers contained in this dastan. The entire assembly declared that Alpamysh was "glorifying bloody fights, the brigandage of khans and beks and their oppression of the masses..."39
In Pravda Vostoka's report of this meeting40, Candidate of Philological Sciences Iu. Sultanov is quoted as articulating the anti-Alpamysh view, using the article "Ob epose 'Alpamysh'" as a basis for his remarks. Abdunabiev criticizes the folklorists for permitting this work to reach the masses. Several university faculty members confess their errors in failing to criticize Alpamysh and state that they will be more vigilant in the future. Pravda
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 13
Vostoka notes that Hadi Zarif, a senior Orientalist and co-author with Zhirmunskii of a seminal work on the "Uzbek epic," evaded serious self-criticism and limited himself only to repeating "generally known facts."
After the crisis "ended" in 1952, defenders of Alpamysh emerged. At a Moscow meeting on Epics of the Peoples of the USSR (June 1954) prominent Orientalists, A. K. Borovkov, Hadi Zarif, O. A. Valitova, M. I. Afzalov and others, severely criticized those who found nihilistic tendencies in the dastan Alpamysh.41
Immediately after this conference, according to Mirzaev, new variants of the dastan began to be collected. The folklorists of the Gorkii Institute of World Literature also criticized the previous attacks on Alpamysh and stated the need to "study the problems of the epics and the traditional folkloric ideals..." and argued that "these national epics must be understood and studied in the deepest scientific manner."42
With this official encouragement by the Gorkii Institute and the Pushkin Institute of Language and Literature (Tashkent) of the Uzbek Academy of Sciences, debate and commentaries on Alpamysh began to appear in the republican press. Again, A. Abdunabiev and A. Stepanov came in for criticism for their "distortions" and for their claim that this dastan is nihilistic.43
Perhaps the most decisive event was the decision of the 20th Party Congress (1956), "in the name of Soviet science and especially Soviet folklore studies," to convene an investigative conference on the Alpamysh dastan "in order to bring to a close these dogmatisms, commentaries and theoretical problems and once and for all to investigate these matters in detail and come to a decision." Thus a regional conference was held from 20-25 September 1956 in Tashkent, co-sponsored by the Gorkii Institute and the (Tashkent) Pushkin Institute, the purpose of which was "reconciling the studies [of Alpamysh] with party directives."44
Specialists on Alpamysh from Moscow, Leningrad, Uzbekistan, Karakalpakistan, Kazakhistan, Tajikistan, Tataristan, Bashkurdistan, Altai, Georgia and "other fraternal peoples' scholars of epics," attended. The speakers discussed the various versions of the dastan and stressed "the objective meaning of the dastan Alpamysh and its rhetorical and populist particulars." Twenty papers were read and the transactions published.45
Mirzaev particularly notes the contribution of A. K.
14 H. B. Paksoy
Borovkov, who examined and discussed the history of the collection of Alpamysh, its transcription and its variants among Uzbek, Karakalpak and Kazakh peoples.46 Mirzaev than pointedly adds that Alpamysh, "belongs to the Turkic peoples (Tiurki halklar)."
Hadi Zarif wrote a decisive retort to the denigration of Alpamysh in Shark Yilduzi in 1957:
"The intellectual basis of the dastan was not to glorify brigandage, nationalism, religiosity, [but] instead to show bravery, humanism, love of homeland, loyalty, close friendship, noble ideals. This dastan is an encyclopaedia dealing with the most beautiful examples of rhetoric, literary form, peoples' humor and aphorisms, examples of speech of the masses."47
Mirzaev criticized the former critics:
"Some individuals during the 1950s regarded this valued oral monument as nihilistic. Those individuals, on the pretext that these pearls created by the masses were bankrupt, tried to destroy them. Those critics from a social and political point of view denied the populism of Alpamysh. They...misrepresented the motifs of the dastan, analyzing those separately from the era in which it was created and called it a 'reaction against populism.'"48
In 1958, the "most complete" Alpamysh, a Penkovskii translation of the Fazil variant, was published. It was subsequently reissued several times. Official comments on the dastan have since then been laudatory. Earlier printings are unavailable. This republication may not have been a "victory" for the dastan, but rather a shift by the authorities to a more subtle attack. That attack, "Phase II," will be the subject of Chapter Four.
The campaign against Alpamysh and the struggle for its rehabilitation, like the history of its earlier printings, fit into a larger pattern of CPSU politics and especially the organization and reorganizations of the Oriental Institutes. Indeed, the Phase II efforts to destroy and save Alpamysh cannot be understood outside this context.
Party, Oriental Institutes and Policy. The Origins of the Oriental Studies in the Russian Empire, with reference to their political significance, have been
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 15
traced by Richard N. Frye.49 After the 1917 Revolution, the Soviet government, in recognition of the "revolutionary potential" of Asian peoples, took a variety of actions which reflected the importance they attached to propaganda and agitation among the Eastern nationalities. During the Civil War, the Bolsheviks began to expand both the scope and the staffs of the Oriental Institutes, although this was not fully accomplished until after World War II (see below). Gradually they were brought under a single umbrella.50 At the same time, "the General Staff of the Red Army of Workers and Peasants acquired an Oriental Section in 1919, which later became the Oriental Faculty of the General Staff's Military Academy."51
These actions as well as the founding of the Kommunisticheskii Universitet Trudiashchikhsia Vostoka - KUTVa (Communist University of the Toilers of the East) were aimed at linking the expansion of Communism in the "Soviet East" to the export of revolution to the rest of Asia. The pivotal event of this effort was the Congress of the Toilers of the East, held in Baku (a city which was seen as a key springboard for the export of revolution) in September 1920. Although the result of this Congress was the reinforcing of Russian rather than Central Asian control over the process, the interest in exporting Communism remained alive into the mid-1920s.52 After the Baku Congress, the efforts to study and propagandize the East continued.
[Recognizing] "the great need for agents and agitators proficient in the tongues of the various Oriental peoples and familiar with their history, the Military-Revolutionary Council of the Turkestan Front established in October 1920 a special program of Oriental Studies. This served as the nucleus of the Higher Military School of Oriental Studies founded in 1922."53
In Moscow on 13 December 1921 the Soviet government established Vserossiiskaia nauchnaia assotsiatsiia vostokovedeniia (All Russian Scientific Associatio of Oriental Studies) -- VNAV. This was ttached to the Narodnyi kommissariat po delam natsional'nostei (People's Commissariat for Nationalities Affairs) -- Narkomnats, headed by Stalin and in charge of all nationalities policy. "It [VNAV] assisted the government and the party in the implementation of official policy and with propaganda work in the Asian regions of the Soviet Union. It had cells in Moscow and in several other places both at home and abroad whose members forwarded information to VNAV."54
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Tura Mirzaev notes that the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party passed a resolution on 18 June 1925: On "Party policy in the field of artistic literature".55 Contained in this resolution was the declaration that "in a classless society there is and can be no neutral art."56 As a result of this resolution, the Uzbek Commissariat of Education and Knowledge ordered new collections of Alpamysh variants to be conducted "in an organized fashion." In 1928, the Turcological Cabinet of the USSR Academy of Sciences was founded and "...sponsored translations of Turkish classics and historical records, published monographs on the history and culture of the Turkic peoples..."57
Wayne Vucinich articulates the relationship between education of "scholars" and agitation:
"From the very beginning the Soviet Government undertook to establish completely controlled communist centers of Oriental research and training. It wanted Orientalists to be militantly missionary, to dedicate themselves to the cause of communism and to interpret, popularize and implement the policies of the government and the party."58
Examination of Oriental studies in the USSR reveals two sets of linkages. The first is that between the study of history and current problems, the second between institutional reorganization and ideological redirection. Of the first, the Party itself provides straightforward documentation:
"Naturally, the study of these most important problems must be based on full and exhaustive research... Deep scholarly analysis of these problems must necessarily be based on serious study of the entire history of Eastern peoples, including ancient and medieval history; but the basic issue of the Oriental Institute is the study of problems of contemporary history... in the study of ancient and medieval East it is necessary to concentrate attention on questions having timely (aktual'nyi) significance... (using) Marxist-Leninist methodology... and guided by the historic deciions of the Central Committee of the VKP(b) on ideological questions...."59
The second linkage, that between institutional reorganization and ideological redirection, is more complex. The first period of institutional reorganization
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 17
and redirection was roughly from 1928 or 1929 to 1931.60
This was the period of the purges of Central Asians for "national deviation."61 It was during this period that VNAV was dissolved (in 1930) and replaced by the Institute of Oriental Studies within the reorganized Academy of Sciences. Among the tasks of the historical-economic sector of the Institute was investigating "socialist construction in Soviet eastern regions and republics..."62
Another reorganization took place in 1935 on the eve of the Great Purges. Any remnants of Central Asian "national deviationists" from the first purges were liquidated in the 1936-38 period. An additional institutional change took place in 1937 when the Academy of Sciences finally absorbed the institutes formerly under the Communist Academy. Even after these changes, complaints were made about the quality of work and understaffing.63
Within this context of purges for "national deviation," repeated "reorganizations" and, presumably greater ideological control over Oriental studies, the attempt by Hamid Alimjan to "rescue" Alpamysh takes on a new, dramatic significance. He may well have seen this 1939 publication of Alpamysh as his last chance to preserve a central monument of culture and repository of identity. Alimjan was literally risking his life, an act which by itself is eloquent testimony to the importance of the dastan Alpamysh.64
The pace of Oriental studies was slowed but not halted during World War II. The Institute of Oriental Studies worked closely with the party and the military organization. It published propaganda materials..."65
The task of training future generations was not neglected. The Oriental Institute in Leningrad was moved to Tashkent and Central Asians were admitted for training. The Central Asians constituted a portion of the enlarged cadres in this Institution even when transferred back to Leningrad after the war.66 In March 1944, a major Conference on Central Asian folklore was hed in Tashkent.67 The convening of such a onference during the war bespeaks the significance of the topic, probably in connection with the Oriental Institute's propaganda function.
More relevant for this topic is the postwar renewal of interest in Oriental studies and the institutional and ideological vicissitudes of the Oriental Institute. In the wake of enormous war losses, the contribution to victory of the Russians (who, in official propaganda, received sole credit for the victory) and, by extension, relations between non-Russians and Russians received new emphasis.68
Orientalists were invited to engage in ideological warfare
18 H. B. Paksoy
against falsifiers of history, including those who sullied the friendly relations between Soviet peoples. Vucinich perceptively describes the era:
"From 1949 until 1951 leading Soviet newspapers and journals often published warnings to historians and literati, as well as to the institutes sponsoring them, and offered acceptable interpretations of controversial issues in the history of the Soviet Muslim and certain other Asian peoples.... In their writings Asian authors were obliged to refrain from expressing any ideas or interpretations that were anti-Russian and were told to honor and extol the many virtues of the 'Great Russian people', under whose leadership the Soviet peoples would attain a common supranational culture for the entire 'Soviet family' of nations."69
The period of the "crisis of dastans 1949-1951" coincided roughly with the beginning of a protracted period of reorganization of the Oriental Institute and the Oriental departments of the Academy of Sciences. In its plan for 1950, the Oriental Institute called for new emphasis on several fields including literature.70 The 1950 report of the Presidium called for a major reorganization. The Oriental Institute was moved from Leningrad to Moscow and workers from other academic institutes were transferred to it. In addition, the Oriental Institute was transferred from the Department of Language and Literature of the Academy of Sciences to the more politically oriented Department of History and Philosophy.71 Among new sections created was the Section of the Soviet East headed by the well-known Orientalist E. E. Bertels.72 However, as late as the early part of 1951 the Institute was still understaffed and the work quality was still being criticized.
The organizational reforms and ideological redirection continued into the middle of the decade. The 19th Party Congress (October 1952) criticized the Orientalists for having failed to follow party directives. Among other matters, the Orientalists weretold to produce scholarly works on Easternliterature.73 Again, a (perhaps the) major issue was relations between Asian peoples and Russians.74 Also in 1952, historians were purged for "erroneous ideas" and for having fallen into "bourgeois ideological waters" concerning the "Muslim heroes" Shamil and Kenesary Kasymov and the national question.75 In 1953, the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences criticized the output of the Oriental Institute since 1951
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 19
as having a low "political-conceptual" (ideino-politicheskii) level. It further stated that the cadres were weak in theoretical training and lacking in systematic control. Among the priorities handed down for the Institute were "production of scholarly-popular literature illuminating the successes of popular democracy in the East, the liberation struggles of peoples of dependent and colonial countries," and "production of qualified help for the academies of science in the republics on questions of the history and literature of peoples of the Soviet East."76
A decree of the Academy Presidium of February 1953established an "independent section" of the history and culture of the Soviet East. Some subsequent adjustments were made, presumably linked to the death of Stalin in March 1953. Twelve sections were created.77 The Section on the Soviet East was now upgraded to "independent section" (of which there were only three) on "history and cultures of the Soviet East."78 It was still headed by Bertels.79
In 1954, the Central Committee of the Party demanded that a careful research plan be drawn up for all disciplines.80 In that same year a Coordinating Commission for Eastern Literature was established under the Central Coordinating Council for Oriental Studies.81
The following year, the journal Sovetskoe Vostokovedenie resumed publication. Seemingly for the first time, the Oriental Institute was not understaffed. There were reported to be 220 workers, of whom 155 worked on Far East, South Asia and Middle East.82 That would leave 65, presumably for work on Soviet domestic issues. The Oriental Institute embarked on a new path in 1955. From that time, the Institute invested "serious effort" in the publication of "historical and literary monuments," which certainly included the dastans. Under the editorship of Bertels himself, the Institute began publishing "significant monuments of medieval literature," including Firdousi's Shahname and Rashid al-Din's Cronicles. In connection with this effort,the Institute also carried out preparatory research on Kutadgu Bilig and the Secere-i Terakime by Abul Gazi.83
Criticisms, however, continued. In a meeting of December 1956, the Academy Presidium attacked the Institute's treatment of a number of issues including "national trends of peoples of Central Asia and criticisms of nationalistic errors in the work of historians and literati."84 The on-going displeasure of the Presidium with the Institute led to new guidelines and yet further reorganization. The new guidelines, stated to be in conformity with the resolutions of the 20th Party Congress, included the
20 H. B. Paksoy
continued publication of literary and historical monuments of the peoples of the East. To facilitate this publication agenda, a publishing house of Eastern Literature was established in 1957.85
The new structure of the Oriental Institute was far more complex than before. Sections on the Far East and Near and Middle East included subsections on individual countries. Gone was the old "independent section" on the peoples of the Soviet East. A new division was added, however, to replace the Soviet East department headed by Bertels, who had been the chief of the various Soviet East sections since 1950.86 Along with the structural change of the Institute, the plan was changed as well. For the "first time"87 the Institute called for large scale publication of literary and historical monuments.
Several events had led up to the "rehabilitation" of Alpamysh in 1956 -- the Party Congress of 1952, the Moscow Conference on Epics in 1954, the Tashkent "Trial of Alpamysh" in 1952 and, in 1956 the 20th CPSU Congress. All issued guidelines relevant to Alpamysh. Finally, with the institutional reforms of 1957, the reorganization of the Oriental Institute was pronounced "completed." The Institute was now ready to carry out the dictates of the Party Congress.88 In the following year, the "definitive" and "complete" version of Alpamysh appeared. In the light of the reforms and ideological directives of the 1950s, and particularly the increasing emphasis after 1955 on the "literary and historical monuments" of the peoples of the East, the beginnings of reemergence of Alpamysh after 1958 becomes more explicable. Its republishing has a specific place within the broader pattern of activity in the field of Oriental studies. Only with the newly enlarged staff and with the establishment of "final" ideological instruction could the Oriental Institutes undertake the work necessary for the publication of Alpamysh. In this regard, Bennigsen is perhaps overly optimistic in his assessment of the reappearance of Alpamysh (and othr dastans) as a sign of the victory of the Central Asians.89 In fact, the Oriental Institutes finally had the personnel and the "proper" ideological framework with which to edit the dastan according to the dicta of the CPSU.
CENTRAL ASIAN RESPONSE:
COLLECTION AND PUBLICATION OF
ALPAMYSH UNDER SOVIET RULE
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 21
Asians. These efforts produced dozens of published versions and a still unknown number of manuscripts which are occasionally cited by Soviet authors and are reportedly kept in restricted access manuscript archives of Academy of Sciences of the USSR and Academies of individual republics.
Mirzaev, in his 1968 work,90 cites 29 reciters' variants in the Tashkent archives of the Academy of Sciences alone; in his 1969 work,91 he cites 33 variants of Alpamysh in this same archive. Zhirmunskii92 and M. Ghabdullin and T. Sydykov93 cite additional manuscripts in Nukus, Alma-Ata, Kazan, Moscow and Leningrad. Unfortunately, the available individual printings of Alpamysh do not provide sufficient information tracing the origin of variant in question. Introductions remark on the dastan's antiquity without detail. None of the Russian translations, as far as this writer has been able to determine, incorporates a critical apparatus. Even in those instances where the editor-translator is of Central Asian origin, such as Divay, only occasional footnotes are included. These footnotes are usually limited to the explanations of words. The native dialect editions rarely if ever provide any explanations since the readers are, after all, familiar with the dastan.
One of the main reasons for the ignorance about the "genealogy" of any of the variants may lie in the fact that the known versions of Alpamysh appear to have come down to the present day through diverse sources -- various reciting schools, tribal units, localities and collection efforts. Reports of these collection efforts show little or no evidence that the collectors attempted to trace the historical line of descent for any given variant.
Regardless of the cause, this failure by the collectors to trace the origins of individual variants renders comparison extremely difficult. Establishing descent, if that task were to be attempted, would also be problematical, even for those who may have full access to all known anuscripts. The first monographic tratment (discussed in Chapter Four) devoted to the "Uzbek national heroic epic" and including a large section on the dastan Alpamysh is the 1947 work coauthored by V. M. Zhirmunskii and Hadi Zarif (under the name Kh. T. Zarifov, the form used in Russian-language sources). The sections on dastans were written by Zarif, according to the work's Introduction. Although Hadi Zarif attempted to examine various historical events and documents in order to establish the approximate time of the dastan's creation, even he did not deal with any particular variant of Alpamysh, and confined himself primarily to what he labelled the "Kungrat" version. This lack of a genealogy is disappointing because by virtue of his personal
22 H. B. Paksoy
knowledge and access to documents, he was well positioned to trace such a lineage. Alpamysh has apparently never been printed anywhere except in the Russian and Soviet domains. There have been 55 known published versions of Alpamysh offered for sale since 1899. A complete bibliography of those works follows. They include versions published in Kazakh, Uzbek, Karakalpak, Tatar, Kirghiz, Altai, Russian and Tajik, the last being confined to portions of Tajikistan and northern Afghanistan.94 It is not known to exist in any other language and the very name is unknown in the Turkish Republic.95
The dastan Alpamysh was the subject of at least 185 books and articles in the USSR between 1923 and 1967 alone. These publications of evaluation and research were the products of Kazakh, Kirghiz, Uzbek, Bashkir, Tatar and Russian authors and do not include editions of the main texts or major translations of this dastan. The bibliography below is compiled from various sources and covers publications known to me as of this writing. This list does not include the Alpamysh extracts found in school textbooks or readers:
Bibliography of Published Versions of the Alpamysh Dastan
1. Kissa-i Alfamish. By Yusufbek Seyhulislam (in Arabic
alphabet.) Kazan, 1899.
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 23
10. Seventh edition of (1), 1914.
24 H. B. Paksoy
26. "Altay Buchai." In Oirotskii narodnyi epos. Editor: A.
Koptelev. N. Ulagashev variant. pp. 79-126. Novosibirsk, 1941.
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 25
42. Alpamish. Russian translation by L. Penkovskii. Preface
by V. Zhirmunskii. Reprint of 1949. Moscow, 1958.
As the Alpamysh bibliography demonstrates, approximately one third of the items are Russian translations of one or another variant. Most publication efforts, however, reflect the dedication of several individual Central Asians, who can be regarded as saviors of dastans.
26 H. B. Paksoy
Saviors of Dastans: Second and Third "Waves"
This second "wave of saviors", concentrated in Tashkent, managed to publish the dastan at least three times between the Revolution and the demise of the Turkistan Republic in 1924. Slightly more information is available on this group, by virtue of the individuals' affiliation with Narodnyi kommissariat prosveshcheniia (the People's Commisariat of Education) -- Narkompros and the Kazakh-Kirghiz Bilim Kamiyasi (roughly: Society of Kazakh-Kirghiz Scholarship). It is because of this history that information is available on Divay, Yusufbek and Gazi Alim.97 Other individuals are likely to come light in the course of further research. Available information on Divay's career indicates that he continued his efforts to record and preserve elements of Turkic culture after the revolution as before. In 1918, Divay offered courses in Kazakh ethnography and language at the Central Asian University and at the Turkistan Oriental Institute, where he held the chair of Kirghiz ethnography and language. He was first an "independent instructor" and later a professor. He organized a major expedition to Semirechie in spring 1922 as a member of the Kirghiz Scholarly Commission of Narkompros of the Turkrespublika (Turkistan Republic). During the following year, Divay is reported to have gathered, described and systematized approximately eight thousand pages of notes from this expedition.98
As before, Divay's findings were published in the various scholarly and popular journals in Russian and the native language during 1922. He also prticipated at this time in the specialcommission for the elimination of the kalym ("bride price") and for the "reform of the study of native languages."99 A second jubilee for Divay was celebrated in 1923. Divay's Soviet biographers are silent on the ensuing years of his life and note only that he died ten years later.
Much has been written and said about Divay by his contemporaries. A few items are revealing. In an issue of Zhivaia Starina, V. A. Gordlevskii, noted one of Divay's "praiseworthy tendencies," "to extract articles from
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 27
Turkestanskaia vedomost' and republish them, thus saving them from oblivion."100 This "praiseworthy tendency" would explain the multiple printings of Alpamysh and, apparently, the goal behind them. Zeki Velidi Togan wrote about a visit to Divay's Tashkent home in 1913. Zeki Velidi had read Ismail Gasprali's Rusya Muslumanlari, which he had found in Divay's personal library. In a conversation with Divay (Togan refers to him as "Miralay" [colonel] and "Divay Agha"), Togan criticized Gasprali's "timidity." Divay responded:
"During those times our thoughts were somewhat different. In addition, if this language had not been used, that book would not have cleared the censors. Political repression in Russia in those days was much more stringent. In those hours of our need, works such as this gave us some relief."101
Detailed information on the dastans and on Divay himself is to be found in the Kazakh Academy of Science's Kazakhskaia narodnaia poeziia.102 The first chapter was presumably written by one or more members of the editorial committee which produced this work -- N. S. Smirnova, M. G. Gumarova, M. S. Sil'chenko and T. S. Sydykov. The chapter describes Divay's method of collecting materials. Divay often sought out those among the Kazakh populations who owned manuscripts of traditional oral works. Often the bahshis themselves had manuscripts of dastans. These manuscripts he collected or, when unable to acquire them, had them copied. "Divaev made a request of the responsible persons of the Turkestan krai to copy manuscripts for him. In this way in June 1896 he received a manuscript of the epic Alpamysh. The manuscript itself is reported to be in the Manuscript Fond of the Library of the Academy of Sciences of the Kazak SSR, 'Materialy A. A. Divaeva, folder 1162.'"103
A piece by Sydykov in the same volume gives the details of the collection in 1896:
"In this same year 1896 Divaev received a manuscript of the Karakalpak of
the Turtkul volost' ofthe Amu-Darya otdel of the Syr-Darya oblast Dzhiemurat
Bekmukhamedov [sic], a professional bahshi. The manuscript was prepared for
publication by Divaev in November 1897. It was published on the pages of
28 H. B. Paksoy
dlia statistiki Syr-Dar'inskoi oblasti
28 H. B. Paksoy
dlia statistiki Syr-Dar'inskoi oblastiin 1902."104
Sydykov also noted that Divay had already known about Alpamysh and first mentioned the work in an article published in 1896 in Zapiski Vostochnogo otdeleniia Russkogo arkheologicheskogo obshchestva, 1896, v. XI, no. III-IV, p. 292.
Another major savior of dastans was Gazi Alim. He published a version of Alpamysh in 1923 (Item 15 in Bibliography). Togan tells of Gazi Alim's collections in the 1910s and 1920s both in the vicinity of Tashkent during the short life of the Turkistan Republic (1918-1924) and from Fazil Yoldashoglu in the environs of Samarkand in 1928.105 The collection process did not always proceed smoothly. In compiling his 1923 Alpamysh, Gazi Alim, then a member of the Bilim Kamisiya, reportedly collected one variant from Yoldashoglu and another variant from reciter Hamrakul Bahshi. According to Mirzaev, the 1923 printing was "spliced" from recitations of the two ozans. Mirzaev further states that this very manuscript was subsequently "lost" and the dastan had to be collected again later in the decade.106
In his introduction to the 1923 printing (Item 15), Gazi Alim describes the importance of the dastan and thus suggests his motives in wanting to save this dastan: "The dastan occupies the most important place in the people's literature. The dastan is a literary genre encompassing all the particulars of the tribal life in the most lucid manner.
"If we do not know the Turk-Ozbeg [original spelling] dastans, we will not become familiar with the struggles of the Turk tribes, the reasons underlying their politico-economic endeavors, their methods and rules of warfare, the characters and the social places of their heroes in their societies; in short, the details of their past. National dastans contain the styles and customs of local akins, which is a fundamental characteristic of the dastans. The Turkish land is rich in dastans. All Turk tribes have their own dastans: the Kipaks have their Koblndi Batir; the Nogays, Idige Batir; the Kngrats, Alpamis Batir; the Naymans, Shora Batir; the Kirgiz, Manas Batir.
"In addition, there are many others in the Altay
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 29
mountains, the Turkistan steppes and the Idil [Volga] shores that are repeated by the Turk-Ozbeg akins, but are not yet written down.
"Our awakening period is just beginning, and our national literature will undoubtedly serve an important purpose within this context. This rebirth of our own native literature will become even more powerful, if it can be saved from the false classicism of aghatay, which in turn is influenced by and has taken its form and spirit from Persian. Consequently, our new literature must be based on the power and the purity of our people's soul."
In the 1930s it appears there was another group working to further the efforts of their predecessors. Within this group Hamid Alimjan, then head of the Uzbek Writers' Union, is most visible.
The 1939 compilation of Alpamysh is not available in the Western world. Even in the libraries of the USSR, it is exceedingly difficult to see a copy of this printing. The volume begins with an extraordinary introduction, more fiery than the one by Gazi Alim. In the copy which was available to this author for one thirty-minute session, pages 8 through 25 were missing from the introduction. They had been removed. In these missing pages Alimjan apparently describes the reasons why he believes that this dastan is important and must be kept alive.
Passages below are extracted and translated from the introduction written by Hamid Alimjan to the 1939 printing of Alpamysh as taken down from Fazil Yoldashoglu (Item 20 in Bibliography).
The Kungrat tribe of the Uzbeks are seeking refuge with the Kalmak ruler. Alimjan uses the spelling Ozbeg, (rather than Uzbek); this form is probably to be related to the popular etymology: Ozum Bek, "my essence is princely." The text, which is reproduced below, is in Latin orthography and all spellings are as in the original.
Kungrat Aksakallar Qalmakga qarab bir soz eb turgan ekan:
"The Kungrat whitebeards introduce themselves to the Kalmaks:
"Alpamis is a dastan shared among the Ozbeg, Karakalpak, Kazak and one of the oldest such lineages, the Kungrats, describing their way of life. Alpamis has entered into the literatures of these native Central Asian peoples. Ozbegs, Kazaks, Kirghiz, Turkmens and Karakalpaks have read and cherished Alpamis as their own.
"These people have regarded Alpamis as a part of their own history, and rightly so. All of the best akins of the Ozbegs knew Alpamis. Among these poets, lack of knowledge of Alpamis was considered a shame. Therefore all poets began their recitations with Alpamis.
"The original contains 15,000 lines of verse. Poet Yoldashoglu of the Jani Mihnat (New Labor) Kolkhoz, located in the Bulungur oblast of Samarkand, is considered as the most
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 31
authoritative of its reciters.
"Alpamis is one of the oldest dastans of the Ozbeg people. Among the Ozbeg folklorists, there are those who consider Alpamis to be at least a thousand years old. These claims are, of course, not without foundation".
The fourth wave of Central Asian intellectuals concerned with the fate of Alpamysh and the Turkic dastan genre in general is just beginning to emerge. The challenge they face shall be the focus of Chapter Four. In biological terms, the members of this group are actually the third generation and a virtual intellectual replacement of the independence minded "nationalists" who were physically liquidated by the Stalinist measures of the 1920s and 1930s. It is from the point of view of intellectual heritage that they constitute the fourth group. Each and every one of these writers, mostly born since World War II, chose to utilize the dastans in placing their historical fiction onto paper. They liberally incorporate motifs from a variety of dastans into their works.107
The theme of their efforts is perhaps expressed by this 1982 poem, signed "Shakir Jumaniyaz" from the Uzbek journal Muhbir:
"Give me a chance, my rebellious dreams
32 H. B. Paksoy
NOTES TO CHAPTER TWO
2. The first Governor General of the krai was General Kaufman who held the post from 1867 to 1882. The conquest is discussed in several monographs including of course Caroe; Geoffrey Wheeler, History of Modern Central Asia (New York, London: Praeger, 1964). For a description of administrative arrangements as well as greater focus on the khanates of Bukhara and Khiva, see Seymour Becker, Russia's Protectorates in Central Asia; Bukhara and Khiva, 1865-1924 (Cambridge, MA: the Harvard Russian Research Center Series, No. 54, Harvard University Press, 1968).
3. I. T. Kreindler, "Education Policies Toward the Eastern Nationalities in Tsarist Russia: A Study of Il'minskii's System, unpublished doctoral dissertation, Columbia University, 1970.
4. On Il'minskii, see Krindler, "Ibrahim Altynsarin, Nikolai Il'inskii and the Kazakh National Awakening," CAS V. 2, N. 31983. On Ostroumov, see Togan, Turkistan, 503 and Frye, "Oriental Studies in Russia," 43.
5. Togan, Turkistan, 503 discusses Ostroumov. 6. N. A. Baskakov makes this argument regarding smaller Turkic populations such as the Altai, Khakass, and Tuva, but even the Yakut, Chuvash, Karakalpak and the numerous Kirghiz are stated to have languages that are "either unwritten or written primitively." See Wurm's translation in The Turkic Languages of Central Asia, 1-2.
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 33
The same view is expressed in A. N. Kononov, Turkic Philology: 50
Years of Soviet Oriental Studies (Moscow, 1967) in English
translation, 7. The view has even crept into Western textbooks such as
Dmytryshyn, cited in Chapter One.
34 H. B. Paksoy
20. This process is well documented by Lowell Tillett's The
Great Friendship. He pays particular attention to the Kazakhs. Also
useful in connection with this policy are those works on language policy
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 35
32. "Concerning the Poem Alpamysh," Literaturnaia Gazeta, 14
September, 1952, cited in ibid, 468.
36 H. B. Paksoy
48. Mirzaev, 14. Also see "Ob epose 'Alpamysh'," (Excerpts reprinted in
Literaturnaia Gazeta, 12 February 1952); and also by
Stepanov, "Pod flagom narodnosti," in Zvezda Vostoka,
(Tashkent) 1952, No. 4.
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 37
63. Iz istorii, 75.
38 H. B. Paksoy
80. Plan reproduced in Iz istorii, 142.
ALPAMYSH: Chapter Two 39
99. Kazakh Halkynyn Batyrlyk Jyry, 11.
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