Shagi / Steps the Journal of the SASH


2023 :Vol. 8, N 1
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The construction of Turkmen literature in the USSR in the mid-1930s: From colonial oppression to Stalins paradise

A. O. Burtseva
Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia, Moscow)

DOI: 10.22394/2412-9410-2022-8-4-303-317

Keywords: Turkmen literature, Soviet literature of the 1930s, the Union of Soviet Writers, national literatures of the USSR, Oraz Taçnazarow, Hojanepes Çaryew

Abstract: The present article considers the specifics of the Soviet national literatures project, as it was implemented in Turkmenistan in the mid-1930s. The article aims to reveal the influence of Soviet cultural policy on the region, the literary context of which has been almost left unanalyzed. Archival sources, such as the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art and the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, provide a clearer view of the Turkmen literary situation in the 1930s, in particular, shortly before and after the 10-year anniversary of the republic in 1934. A plan for literary work, which included collaboration between Russian and Turkmen authors and orientalist scholars, was devised specifically for Turkmenistan. Thus, authors were supposed to learn Turkmen or Russian, respectively, and had not only to rely on folklore, but also to consider the Turkmen classics. The task of constructing a history of Turkmen literature and moving from poetic works to monumental and prosaic ones was postulated as a matter of necessity. Works by women and the topic of womens emancipation were of primary importance, as it was especially relevant for the Central Asian republics. Another tendency was an attempt to teach creative writing, taking the national specifics of the region into account. Overall, the policies of the 1930s were aimed at creating a new national literature; however, due to the particular situation in the region (language barrier, literacy level, particularities of circulation of texts, national identity issues) there had to be certain amendments to the all-Soviet project.

To cite this article: Burtseva, A. O. (2022). The construction of Turkmen literature in the USSR in the mid-1930s: From colonial oppression to Stalins paradise. Shagi/Steps, 8(4), 303317. (In Russian). https://doi.org/10.22394/2412-9410-2022-8-4-303-317.