Tarana Turan Rahimli
The writer is associate professor, Doctor of Philosophy in Philology.
The image of Nasimi in the novel by Isa Huseynov “Mahshar” and literary criticism
Keywords: classic, literature, prose, criticism, national
Numerous artistic and scientific works have been written in Azerbaijan, Iraq, Turkey and other countries about the great philosopher and poet Imadeddin Nasimi, a great figure of classical Azerbaijani literature, who lived and created in the XIV-XV centuries. Among the best works in Azerbaijani literature dedicated to Nasimi are Isa Huseynov’s novel “Apocalypse”, Rasul Rza’s poem “Last Night”, Gabil’s poem “Nasimi”, Aliaga Kurchayli’s “Nasimi”, Isi Ismayilzade’s “Monologues of Nasimi”, Ali Karim’s “Summit of Martyrdom” poems can be shown. These works are examples that comprehensively introduce Nasimi as a great national literary figure and give a full impression of his literary identity. Of these works, the most notable was Isa Huseynov’s novel “Mahshar”, written on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the birth of the classic writer. The people of Azerbaijan got to know and love Nasimi better with this work and the feature film “Nasimi” based on his screenplay. The novel “Mahshar” played a greater role in the love and promotion of Nasimi’s legacy than the author’s own work. Under the influence of “Mahshar”, many works dedicated to Nasimi were written in Azerbaijani literature. Literary critics have expressed their views on the novel from different angles since the 70s, when it was written, and consider it one of the masterpieces of the Azerbaijani novel.
The rich world of images in Isa Huseynov’s novel “Mahshar”, which chose a very complex and controversial period of medieval Azerbaijani history as an object of artistic research, resonated in literary criticism and became one of the most perfect examples of prose and rated. The writer created a clear artistic picture of the life and activity of Imadeddin Nasimi, the great Azerbaijani poet, one of the most prominent representatives of the sect of letters, his struggle for his cause, the conflicting period he lived and created, the environment characterized by complex socio-political changes. With this work, the author of “Mahshar” combined his ideas about an important page in the history of national and spiritual culture in general, and achieved a highly artistic solution to the problem of personality and environment. In this regard, it is gratifying that the work has received a worthy appraisal in our criticism and literary criticism.
During the reign of the Timurid Empire, the rich system of images of the work, which revived the realities of Azerbaijan, the socio-political, socio-spiritual life of our country in all its complexity, became the focus of criticism immediately after its publication. The images of powerful artists and personalities – Naimi and Nasimi – were valued as a mirror of the ideals of their time, environment and progressive people. The criticism draws attention to the fact that the writer confronts the seemingly strong, ruler Teymurlang, the “weak” but spiritually strong, artist Nasimi, giving preference to the other side in their dialogue, and as a result, the perfect characters appear prominent in this episode. The heroes of “Mahshar”, who have a clear idea of the complex atmosphere of the Nasimi period, are characterized by full-fledged characters who do not accept any kind of slavery in literary and theoretical thought, especially in the struggle to break the shackles of spiritual slavery.
Literary criticism observes throughout the work that the cry “Not a strong man, but a perfect man can lead the people” sounds louder, emphasizing that this truth has developed and become the main leitmotif of the novel. The novel about the great artist is also considered to be one of the most important works written about the life and activity of poets and writers, historical figures and their environment. Along with Nasimi’s copy, which is more advanced in understanding all the complexities of the historical period mentioned in the work, the images of Ustad Naimi, Amir Teymurlang, Miranshah, Sheikh Azam, Ibrahim Shah, Fatma, Sultan Ahmad Jalairi also play an important role focuses more on those images. Criticism of Nasimi as one of the main characters of the novel, a more developmental copy (it should be remembered that the first version of the work was published in the magazine “Azerbaijan” under the name “Nasimi”), criticized him as a whole considers it the most important image in the correct explanation of the essence of the epoch. Criticism rightly observes that, “In order to create an artistic copy of Nasimi, the writer did not follow the facts of his biography in a chronological order. He tried to use such a stage of the poet’s life and activity, as well as such important aspects, that the humanist and anti-feudal character of Nasimi’s legacy was revealed. [1, p.140]
Criticism appreciates the portrayal of Nasimi in the novel as an inaccessible peak, as a genius, an extraordinary hero, who was centuries ahead with his deep philosophical thinking, understanding, breadth of vision, and insight of his intellect. The uniqueness of the national identity, symbolizing the greatness of faith and spiritual invincibility, is repeatedly emphasized not only in our prose, literature and culture, but also in our national and spiritual memory. In general, in our literary-theoretical opinion, the image of Nasimi was accepted and highly valued as another strong confirmation of our national identity. “Mahshar” was considered a valuable example of our national prose because it fills our imagination with the world “to understand the complex poetry of the poet, the symbolic and symbolic meanings of this poetry”, “the great endurance, perseverance, enthusiasm of the poet.”
Isa Huseynov described Nasimi as an image that stands above the heights of history, far beyond the intelligence of his time, and does not fit into history. The writer managed to reveal the philosophy of history in all its essence, to create its artistic panorama, and the main success of the work was connected with this aspect. As Tayyar Salamoglu writes, the relentless debates in the historical-literary process around “Deli Kur”, “Qarli Ashirim”, and “Mahshar”, in many cases unjust remarks and criticisms, are rooted in the authors’ desire to “digest history at the expense of their own writer’s imagination”, ideologically, it was strengthened not by the passage of time, but by their actions against time, their indifference to the social order of the political regime, and their desire to achieve their own philosophy of historical truths. ” [2, 142]
Yavuz Akhundlu also approaches the work in the context of man and time, then expands this context to the level of artist and time, arguing that the writer pays more attention to Nasimi’s ideological and philosophical research than to the description of historical events. The researcher draws attention to the main line of the novel, which expresses a socio-philosophical view of a particular historical period – the struggle for spiritual truth, which is interesting as an ideological connection between the hero of the past and the beliefs and practices of modern man.
Criticism connects modernity in the novel with the fact that the struggle of a historical figure “expressing national and human sorrow” on the path to wisdom – the search for truth, the struggle for this profession – allows for an artistic understanding. From this point of view, Himalay Anvaroglu’s opinion is noteworthy: “To serve the historical theme, dramatic events of the distant past to modernity, to connect with the national destiny, to understand the world in the harmony of” analhaq “constitutes the philosophical concept of the novel” Apocalypse “. [3, 92] /
In “Apocalypse”, which is considered a “novel-confirmation” due to its pathos and a “novel-research” due to the complexity of writing technology, the author is not a complete captive of a historical fact or event, does not write “history only for the sake of history”. The work, which is characterized by the writers’s philosophical approach to history, focuses on the manifestation of history in various forms. Criticism emphasizes that the historicity of “Apocalypse” is manifested, first of all, in the “integrity and concreteness of the images revived against the background of socio-historical events.”
Criticism also mentions the author’s limited freedom in relation to a complex period of the national past, but shows that the writer overcame this difficulty with dignity. However, sometimes critical remarks include remarks about I. Huseynov’s distortion of historical facts. This shows that although the tendency to “reflect history as it is”, which was strong in the literary process of previous decades, was abandoned in the “Deli Kur” in the early 60’s, criticism could not completely move away from this view. Not only in the 1970s, but also in the 1980s, when self-awareness in criticism was growing, such a literary text was subjected to such an extreme sociological assessment. Nevertheless, the leading forces of criticism are far from evaluating the essence of history in the “Apocalypse” in the full reality of historical events and personalities, on the principle of “reviving as it is in history.” In the researches that correctly determine the artistic value of the work, I.Huseynov’s lack of attention to historical events and details, exaggeration of the position of the extraordinary hero Imadeddin Nasimi in the panorama of history and the course of events are in the center of attention as the main qualities of the artist.
Master critic Vagif Yusifli considers “Mahshar” to be the most perfect work dedicated to Nasimi in his article entitled “The peak of martyrdom (Nasimi’s image in Azerbaijani literature)”, which speaks about the opposite of Nasimi’s image in our national artistic thought. He brought the conceptual issues of prose to the center of scientific analysis in the 80s of the XX century, and in his fundamental research on the problem of conflicts and characters, he expressed sensitivity to Isa Huseynov’s novel “Apocalypse” and the heroic concept of the work. In his new research, the critic penetrates the subject on the basis of the achievements of all branches of literature – prose, drama and poetry. Examining the historical roots of the attitude to Nasimi in the literature, he notes that in folklore and classical poetry only the poet’s name is mentioned and his poems are inscribed. The critic observes that the novel “Apocalypse”, which resonated in the literary environment of the time, revealed an important character of Isa Huseynov’s personality: [4, 27]. Vagif Yusifli strongly opposes the literary conclusion that “the Apocalypse is an anti-Islamic novel” born of the Soviet-era ideological thinking that presents Nasimi as an atheist. Based on the logic of the literary text, he quotes from Fazlullah Naimi’s speech at the execution scene, arguing that there is nothing anti-Islamic in the novel. Indeed, Nasimi’s work and the text of his works confirm this conclusion.
Really, after aquatinting with the Nasimi’s “Divan of Iraq” which was found by Abdul latif Bandaroglu,we are sure that faith, faith to the God, has not diminished for a minute. Verses which started with the words “Oh My God” the love and faith to the God is openly obvious. Both the verses found in his poems and the verses directly related to the texts of the Qur’an in his ghazals are an indication of Nasimi’s faith in God and his excellent knowledge of Islam. Nasimi says his prayers and complaints with the request to God. The literary text of his works emphasizes that Nasimi wasn’t be an atheist who denied God neither in his time, nor later, nor in Soviet times. On the contrary, he expressed his faith in God with great poetic mastery in his many works. This is also evident in Isa Huseynov’s novel “Mahshar”. This work is the best example of an Azerbaijani novel in literary criticism, considered as the work that will remain relevant for all periods.
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