Accepted paper:

Sakha literature and formation of new post-soviet identity


Oleg Sidorov (Faculty of Philology, North-Eastern Federal University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper considers transformation of identity of indigenous peoples in the Sakha Republic, during the Post-Soviet era. We examine, how the process is reflected in Sakha literature and in the most significant novels of post-soviet Sakha writers Vasyli Dalan (1928-1996) and Nikolay Luginov (1948).

Paper long abstract:

The need in defining national identity became apparent during the collapse of the USSR and in Post-Soviet time in the 1985-1990th. There were two outlined tendencies in Yakutia: 1) a return to sources, to the primordial identity, that was reflected in novels by Dalan: "Deaf Vilyuy" and "Tygyn Darkhan"; 2) a search of new identity, based on the idea of the Euroasian identity, belonging to great Asian empires of the past in the novel by N. Luginov "On Genghis Khan's command". Dalan's novels revived half-forgotten flowery language of folklore. They became a basis of new stage in the Yakut literature. In this novels Dalan investigates an origin of the Yakut nation on Central Lena and an emergence of the protostate formation of Yakuts. Glorification of Tygyn became one of the most important symbols of the Yakut statehood and the national idea. The novel by N. Luginov "On Genghis Khan's command" is more than a biography of the Mongolian khan. It is a reflection on the fate of empires, coherence of cultures and the fate of the people of Eurasia. The author, thus, responds to the discussions about origin of the Yakut people, exciting the post-soviet Yakut society: the sources and the ancestral home of Yakut and the relationship with Asian powers of the past: the Turkic Khaganate and the Mongol Empire. These novels have reflected expectations of the Yakut society, have given answers to the question "who are we?" and became the beginning of formation of new post-soviet identity.

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