Chapter

Doctor Muhammad-Yar

Abdulhamid Sulayman Cholpan

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 Doctor Muhammad-Yar

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Abdulhamid Sulayman, writing under the pseudonym Cholpan (Uzbekistan, 18931938) was one of the founders of modern Uzbek literature. As poet, playwright, novelist, and translator, Cholpan left an indelible imprint on his cultural milieu. The son of one of the wealthiest merchants in Andijan in the Ferghana Valley, Cholpan attended a so-called Russian-native school. His precocious talents led him to public life when still in his teens. He was also an active participant in the modernist reform movement in Central Asia. After the Russian revolution of 1917, Cholpan produced his greatest work, although his emphasis shifted much more to nationalism. He was arrested and executed in 1938, one of the innumerable victims of Stalinist terror. The story translated here is arguably the first piece of modern prose fiction in the Uzbek language. Serialized in a newspaper in 1914, it played an influential role in Central Asian modernism. The story is very much a juvenile workCholpan was a teenager when he wrote it. Still, for all its artlessness and its implausible plot, the story incorporates many of the central themes of modernist rhetoric in Central Asia: the power of knowledge, the value of collective action, patriotism, a fascination with cosmopolitan modernity, and an intense didacticism.1

Chapter.  4320 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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