Otherness in oriental and Azerbaijani literature: between medieval and modern periods

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Fidana Musayeva


In modern times, most conflicts are based on "I and others" identification. One of the sources that can answer the question of "how this practice has been in the past" is literature. This paper deals with otherness in ancient and medieval literature, limiting otherness as a foreigner and a person from another religion. There is a unique warm attitude to strangers in Azerbaijani folkloric texts. 

 In ancient and medieval literature, both oral and written, foreigners are often presented at the main character's level, and the plot is constructed on love between a Muslim boy and a Christian girl. On the folklore epic samples are a plot on "Qanlı Goja's son Ganturali" (16th century), "Kitabi – Dada Gorgud" a plot on "Qanlı Goja's son Ganturali," "Asli and Kerem" (created since 16th century). In authorship literature, among these works are popular Ferid – ed – Din Attar (1136 – 1221), H. In Javid's (1882 – 1941) works on the plot of Sheik Sanan, a Muslim boy falls in love with a Christian girl and goes through many trials in this path of love. In the twentieth century, this motif was observed in many Azerbaijani writers' texts such as N. Narimanov (1870 – 1925) ("Bahadur and Sona)," Gurban Said (1905 – 1942), "Ali and Nino," J. Jabbarli (1899 – 1934) ("In the 1905 year") Elchin (was born in 1943) ("Mahmud and Maryam").

 This motif was more connected with the mythological plots and worldview in dastans – folklore; in the XX century author, Husein Javid's Sheik Sanan plot on the love of foreigner embodied Sufi views from the Medieval period. However, for 20th – century literature, this theme was developed within of historical and political prism.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

Article Details

Cross – Cultural Matches: Beyond Medievality