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Acknowledgements i
Preface iii
Chapter One ALPAMYSH and the Turkic Dastan Genre 1
Chapter Two Attempts to Destroy and Save Alpamysh, Phase I 18
Chapter Three The Alpamysh Dastan 50
Translation of Divay's 1901 Alpamysh 57
Commentary 98
Chapter Four Attempts to Destroy and Save Alpamysh, Phase II 120
Soviet Offensive 120
Composite Synopsis of Alpamysh 127
Alpamysh and the dastan genre in perspective 151
Select Bibliography 160
Index 163
Divay's 1901 Alpamysh 165



This work has been produced over a span of seven years, with research conducted on three continents, ten countries and almost two dozen cities. I offer my sincere gratitude to the libraries and librarians of a host of institutions situated in almost as many geographic locations. Among them, the following bore the brunt of my incessant queries: Bodleian (especially the Oriental Reading Room); Oriental Institute; St. Antony's College; the St. Antony's Middle Eastern Center libraries -- all of Oxford University; School of Oriental and African Studies of London University; British Library; Slavic Reading Room of University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Widener Library of Harvard University; Seminar fur Sprach und Kulturwissenschaft Zentralasien of Bonn University; Bibliotek National, Paris; Helsinki University; University of Washington, Seattle; Istanbul University; Regenstein Library of University of Chicago; Indiana University; UCLA; Library of Congress. In addition, several Libraries in the USSR provided material. In due course, I have received advice, access, comments, criticism, editorials, materials, permits and permissions, recommendations, suggestions, specific items and encouragement, and more, from a multitude of individuals. I thank them all: Thomas Allsen, Audrey L. Altstadt, A. Altay, Edward Allworth, Bugra Atsiz, C. E. Black, J. Bailey, D. Barrett, the late Alexandre Bennigsen, Y. Bregel, R. Campbell, Marianna Tax Choldin, Ilse Cirtautas, Robert Dankoff, M. Daly, Remy Dor, R. Dunnell, Turhan Gandjei, R. N. Frye, W. Feldman, Peter Golden, H. Halen, Gavin Hambly, A. T. Hatto, K. H. Karpat, Edward L. Keenan, D. E. Kline, Rahman Kul Kutlu, Habib Ladjevardi, Harold Leich, Geoffrey L. Lewis, Mrs. R. Lewis, A. Lord, A. Mango, David Montgomery, Roy Mottahedeh, D. Nalle, H. Oraltay, Omeljan Pritsak, Nicholas Poppe, D. Ring, Klaus Sagaster, Nazif Shahrani, M. Mobin Shorish, Denis Sinor, Sinasi Tekin, Wayne S. Vucinich, S. Enders Wimbush. Obviously, especially at the latter stages, some of these individuals have suffered more than others. Profs. Geoffrey L. Lewis and Audrey L. Altstadt have read and reread the manuscript, commented, re-interpreted and alternately caused me to view life from different perspectives with their observations. At certain points, Mrs. R. Lewis lightened the weight. Rahman Kul Kutlu calmly and pleasantly withstood a thorough and impatient interrogation, weeks on end, while I re-examined the 1901 text with him. He divulged much, not the least of which was his wisdom and experience. Prof. A. T. Hatto very kindly

made time to check the translation; moreover, he took a special interest in the progress and the scholarly welfare of the author. Prof. R. Dor, with a special trip, made himself available to discuss problematic passages. Profs. Allworth, Cirtautas, Dankoff, Dunnell, Lord, Montgomery, Poppe and Pritsak asked the necessary questions and pointed in the direction of solutions. D. Barrett, M. Daly and H. Leich did not hesitate to don their dust-masks before entering the stacks on my behalf, bringing otherwise unavailable or unknown materials to my attention. S. Enders Wimbush always lent an eager ear, allowed himself to be the sounding board. Thomas Allsen and Peter Golden, with characteristic care and attention, and with their magisterial command of sources, made certain that no undesirable loose-ends remain in the text. I could probably carry on in this vein, but for fear of causing embarrassment. Any remaining errors are due to my insistence.

During the years of 1983, 1984 and 1985, I received ORS Awards from the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom. In 1984, a grant from the Society for Central Asian Studies (Oxford), facilitated field research among the Kirghiz. As a 1986 Associate of the Summer Research Lab of the Russian and East European Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I have benefitted both from the Center resources and the stimulating seminar discussions. Permanent International Altaistic Conferences in Chicago, Valberberg, Venice and Bloomington, Indiana were amicable and fertile grounds to further research and discussion on the topic, in part with the hospitality extended by the PIAC Secretariat. Six different Central Asian Conferences, held between 1982 and 1988, three at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in collaboration with Association of Central Asian Studies (Wisconsin), two at the W. Wilson Center-Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies of the Smithsonian Institution (Washington . C.), one in Munich, with funds conributed by the organizers towards the travel and maintenance of the author, provided forums of discussion, public and private, and afforded feedback from a conglomeration of scholars. The small but potent gatherings of the Society for Central Asian Studies were of no less value. I was able to maintain the momentum in the last phases as a Faculty Associate of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, as well as through the functions of the Harvard Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies. An earlier version of this work was accepted by the University of Oxford in partial fulfillment of the Faculty of Oriental Studies requirements towards my D. Phil.


There was no typist involved. The entire project, from its inception, through its several dozen iterations, was done entirely on word-processing computers. Along the way, I wore out two complete systems beyond repair. Despite the frustrations inherent in such man-machine interactions, they were of great help -- when they functioned. Consequently, if any typing errors are discovered, I am partly responsible.

As for the structure and the contents of the work proper, I assume full responsibility.

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