Copyright, Iraj Bashiri, , Introduction Jamila appeared for the first time in , in the 8th issue of the Russian language monthly Novyj Mir. In the same year, it also appeared under the title of "Melody" in the 10th issue of Ala-Too in the Kyrgyz language. In , the story was published in book form in Moscow and Frunze now Bishkek in Russian and Kyrgyz, under the same respective titles. The title of the story in these volumes appears as "Jamila" rather than as "Melody". His translation also made Jamila available to a larger and wider audience. The English translation of Jamila, published by Progress Publishers in the same year, was not as well received.

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Love in this novella is far more than simply romance. It has a multitude of faces; it encompasses everything - from tender attraction between two young people to kind familial affection to deeply ingrained love for the quiet beauty of your homeland to the love of art and longing for self-expression. In , a small Kyrgyz village on the shores of a turbulent river in the shadow of the mountain range was teetering on the edge between old tribal life and the new expectations of Soviet living.

Tribal laws still held strong, but the former nomads were now living in the villages and working in kolkhoz; patriarchal customs were observed, but since young men were away at the war the work fell on the shoulders of children and women. Sait is a fifteen-year-old boy teetering on the brink of adulthood, the only son of his family not at war, a boy doing adult work, a boy who never dared to open his heart to the passion of art that lay deep within it - what kind of a craft is painting pictures anyway?

In the naive remnants of his innocence, he feels fiercely protective of Jamilia, his sister-in-law, whose husband is away at war. He was in love, I felt, not just with another person; it was a different, enormous love - love for life, for the land. Yes, he saved this love in himself, in his music; he lived for this love. An indifferent person could not have sung like that, no matter how good of a voice he had. It is through them that his heart opens to encompass the love for his land with which all the pages of this too-short of a book are saturated.

Where did he learn all this, who told him all this? I understood that such love for his land could have come only from someone who longed for it with his whole heart of many years; who earned this love through suffering. As he was singing, I could see him - a small boy, wandering along the roads in the steppe. Was it then that the songs about homeland were born in his soul?

Or was it when he was marching the fiery miles of the war? Listening to Daniyar, I wanted to fall on the ground and firmly, like a son, embrace it - if only because it could inspire such love in a person.

I was trembling with unexplained fear and happiness for something unknown. It is through them that the boy - or perhaps, now a young man - discovers his own passion, until then deeply buried under the weight of duty, denial and tradition.

It had almost no words; without words it was able to reveal the great soul of humanity. It was the song of the steppes and the mountains, at times brightly soaring like the Kyrgyz mountains, at times vastly rolling, like the Kazakh steppes.

It beckons me to set out on a journey - and so I need to get ready. I will walk through the steppe to my village, I will find new colors there.


Chinghiz Aitmatov

Life[ edit ] He was born to a Kyrgyz father and Tatar mother. In , his father was charged with " bourgeois nationalism " in Moscow , arrested and executed in The future author studied at a Soviet school in Sheker. He also worked from an early age. At fourteen, he was an assistant to the Secretary at the Village Soviet. In , he began studying at the Animal Husbandry Division of the Kirghiz Agricultural Institute in Frunze , but later switched to literary studies at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow, where he lived from


Tchinguiz Aïtmatov




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