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ALPAMYSH : Central Asian Identity under Russian Rule

By Paksoy, HB, Ph.D.

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Book Id: WPLBN0100002732
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 306.95 KB.
Reproduction Date: 12/11/1989

Title: ALPAMYSH : Central Asian Identity under Russian Rule  
Author: Paksoy, HB, Ph.D.
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Political Science, History
Collections: Authors Community, History
Historic
Publication Date:
1989
Publisher: AACAR
Member Page: erasmus rotterdamus

Citation

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Paksoy, P. H. (1989). ALPAMYSH : Central Asian Identity under Russian Rule. Retrieved from http://worldlibrary.org/


Description
The struggle of the Central Asians to preserve this dastan in the face of Soviet attacks upon it is the central focus of the present work. The attacks and attempts to save the Alpamysh dastan may be divided into two "phases" -- the first is represented by the Central Asians' own efforts to record the dastan on paper and publish it widely in response to Russian occupation and ensuing Russification campaigns, Christian proselytization, "language reform," boundary revision and creation of special legal classifications and later, "nations," for Central Asians; the second "phase" involves altering the content of the dastan itself and its history or "lineage." The two "phases" are not successive and chronologically distinct, but overlap around the 1930s-1940s. The latest response to the attack has been a revival in the 1980s of dastans in a new form, as befits their own tradition. The in-depth examination of the struggle over the Alpamysh dastan, however, is more than the study of the treatment of a single historical and literary monument. It represents Soviet policy in Central Asia and Central Asian resilience in preserving the historic identity and values. The case of Alpamysh is a documentable and representative example of Russian rule --both imperial and Soviet -- in Central Asia. The study of identity, inter alia dastans, also has political and military implications. As the academic historian and political actor Z. V. Togan noted at the time of the Bolshevik revolution, it has been the Russian tactic to absorb (biologically and culturally) the smaller non-Russian nationalities. Under the slogans of "friendship of peoples," the "drawing nearer" or "merging" of the peoples of the Soviet Union and other expressions of so-called "internationalism," Russian nationalism has been at work. The Russian's aim of absorbing the Central Asians could only be realized by breaking the Central Asians' link to their own past.

Summary
The present work employs the detailed study of one case to illustrate a pattern that may well exist in other cases. It must be borne in mind that the subject population comprises approximately one fifth of the Soviet Union (and steadily growing at a rapid pace) and spread across a substantial portion of the Asian continent. What is described in the following pages may have taken place with respect to other non-Russian nationalities in the USSR. Therefore, although this work focuses on Central Asian-Russian relations, it constitutes a possible model for analysis and investigation of Soviet policy toward other nationalities. There is strong evidence to indicate that those policies toward history and literature which were applied to Alpamysh have already been employed with respect to various developing countries as well, not the least of which are those bordering the USSR.

Excerpt
Another representative sample of this early phase of the "movement" is A Manual on the Turanians and PanTuranianism33 (published by the British Admiralty, during the First World War) a work based on Vambery's Turkenvolk34 and compiled by Sir Denison Ross.35 Even Alexander Kerensky, in Paris exile after the Bolshevik Revolution, was utilizing the same "Turanian" rhetoric, calling it "a menace threatening the world."36 Despite its European origins and its European goals, the idea took root among some Central Asian emigres, especially those living in Europe, as it promised the removal of the Russian occupation and subsequent colonization in their homelands.

Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS Acknowledgements i Preface iii Chapter One ALPAMYSH and the Turkic Dastan Genre 1 Chapter Two Attempts to Destroy and Save Alpamysh, Phase I 18 Chapter Three The Alpamysh Dastan 50 Translation of Divay's 1901 Alpamysh 57 Commentary 98 Chapter Four Attempts to Destroy and Save Alpamysh, Phase II 120 Soviet Offensive 120 Composite Synopsis of Alpamysh 127 Alpamysh and the dastan genre in perspective 151 Select Bibliography 160 Index 163 Appendix Divay's 1901 Alpamysh 165

 

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