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Accepted Paper:

Azatkul Kudaibergenova


The Kyrgyz literature shift from socialist realism to realism indicates the societal changes and the emergence of new democratic movements. In the early days of Kyrgyzstan's independence, Kazat Akmatov – a prominent national writer and co-founder of the Kyrgyz Democratic Movement party- refused political appointment, saying, "I wasted nine years for politics. Appoint me to a literary position in Writer's Union. I put the Kyrgyzstani people of pen on the road to progress in getting rid of the dilapidated socialist realism." The writer fought against the dogma of socialist realism from the beginning of his literary career: the bureaucrats labeled his works as antimoral, anti-Russian, anti-Communist party, and anti-Kyrgyz people. As a result, he experienced publication difficulties, elimination from award lists, and silence in literary criticism. His name rarely appears in reviews of textbooks on the history of Kyrgyz literature. There is a small number of articles about him, two of them in English: Gulnara Aitpaeva explores the novel The Years Around the Sun as a social phenomenon depicting the role of epos Manas Kyrgyz public consciousness, Jyldyz Bakashova's article contains the writer's curriculum vitae and a summary of Akmatov's novels.

As part of the broader field of study on Akmatov's epic works, scholars are currently analyzing the social and political themes in his writing, focusing on his political involvement and democratic ideology. This paper aims to examine the lyrical short novel Munabia from the perspective of its unique artistic representation of reality. The analysis will investigate the work's artistic depiction, comprehension, and evaluation peculiarities. The paper argues that the uniqueness of the method lies in depicting the system of characters. In the context of Kyrgyz prose, what is specific is that the narrator is both a creator and a character, present in the work and representing the reality he created, comprehending it, and evaluating it. Akmatov emphasizes that the narrator participates in the village's events, is related to the people in various ways, and demonstrates the kinship of his worldview with the people's mentality.

The novella presents Akmatov's unwavering resilience against censorship, Russification, and communist ideology during the Sovietization of Kyrgyz literature. Despite Party ideological guidance, he builds a plot on a respectful and admirable narrative about a long-term love affair, which challenges societal norms. Akmatov was a fluent Russian speaker but did not write any works on it during the Russification of native culture. He firmly maintained the principle that a writer must write in the language of his people, and he masterfully used the great possibilities of the Kyrgyz language. The writer deeply knew Kyrgyz folklore, customs, traditions, and rituals. In the episode of the story's protagonist's funeral, the master jeweler, Zhanuzak, combines realism, symbolism, and knowledge of funeral rites. The realistic imagery is an ideal expression of the idea and individuality of the author. This paper argues that the novella Munabia indicates a new literary tendency in the history of Kyrgyz literature.

Panel LIT02
Literature in 20th Century Eurasia
  Session 1 Saturday 8 June, 2024, -