PhD candidate of Institute of Folklore of ANAS, Presidential grant-holder Jamile CHİCHEK (İsbendiyarova)
AZERBAIJANI LOVE EPOSES OF CLASSICAL TRADITION
AND THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Problem statement: From the research history of love eposes.
The aim of the study: is to draw attention from modern point of view to the issues of collecting and recording Azerbaijani love legends, their study and investigation from different directions, to interpret and assess the expressed views and considerations in a comparative way.
The history of the saga traditions in Azerbaijan, and generally among all the Turkic peoples goes back to ancient times. Beginning from prehistoric times, stories, adventure and legends that were created and spread among ancient Turkic peoples can be considered as the first sources of classical epics. However, as most of the ancient eposes were not recorded, they were lost, forgotten or there were given examples from these epos parts in some books.
Systematic collection and recording of our eposes and their investigation started much later. However at the same time, recording the samples of folk literature of our nation and separate samples of ancient and classical eposes though individually, and in some cases, their re-development as an artistic works started from ancient times. Such samples can be found in notations, memory letters, and manuscript collections drawn as a hobby by the lovers of word-of-art and literature, chronicles of historians and works of fiction of some of our great classics.
It is known that a number of our prominent classical poets used examples of ancient saga as fiction plot in their works, and analysts used them as historical narratives in their chronicles. Our great poets, master ashugs, as well as, the lovers of poetry, word of art and literature writing these samples in their notations, memory letters, created conditions for their existence up to the present day.
Over time, interest for the examples of folk literature, as well as, for epics is slightly increasing. So “recording the examples of folk literature, as well as, epics begins to assume a new significance beginning from the first half of XIX century. If in the past centuries this work couldn’t go up the level of the memory letters of several professional artists and amateurs and enthusiasts, but now this rich treasure draws the attention of teachers, scientists, travelers and in the true sense of the word, collection activities began” (14, 4-5).
Along with the agreement of this opinion of the author, it should be also noted that it is impossible to accept this as collection, recording and investigation of eposes in full sense. Such kind of collection and recording works, being assessed as a positive factor, can be accepted as beginning and first step of systematic collection and recording. And it is also interesting that “The Book of Dede Korkut" and “Koroghlu” epics which mostly draw the attention of the amateur, as well as, professional authors in the initial collection, recording and investigation works. In the next phase, translators and publishers gave more preference to these epics.
However, our fund of sagas that reflect the morality and spirituality of our nation is not limited only with the parts of “Koroghlu” and “The Book of Dede Korkut”. Since ancient times up to the present day, there are hundreds of beautiful and interesting love, heroism and family sagas which are willingly listened, passed and kept alive by our peoples from generation to generation. Each of them, along with amazing our people, reflecting their sense of the world, way of thinking, proves the power of imagination, art and talent as an undeniable fact. And as a result of all of these, saga, the tradition of creation of epos is being continued today in Azerbaijan and classical love (as well as, heroism and family) eposes are heard with special interest and enthusiasm in the events, gatherings, public celebrations, anniversaries and memorable nights.
Beginning from the period before the establishment of Soviet rule in Azerbaijan, many of our love eposes began to be published from time to time. Famous epics such as “Ashug Garib”, “Tahir – Zohra”, “Shah Ismail”, “Abbas and Gulgaz”, “Khasta Gasim”, “Shahzadeh Abulfaz”, “Alikhan”, “Nowruz” etc. can be shown as an example to this. It should be recognized that during the Soviet period, this process was further accelerated and took systemized shape. Works either in the direction of collecting and recording eposes or investigating and involving them to a wide range of researches and their publications have been gradually accelerated in this period. Our famous scientists such as Salman Mumtaz, Hanafi Zeynalli, Ahliman Akhundov and folklore experts such as H.Alizade, S.Akhundov, A.Tahirov etc., as well as, folk poets such as S.Rustam, M.Rahim spent much trouble in this field. Sometimes our eposes themselves and sometimes their several forms are published by their hard work and initiatives. Among these, “Azerbaijani folk literature”, “Epics and tales” collected and compiled by H.Alizade, the books of “Folk eposes” of A.Akhundov etc. are more remarkable. In addition, in 1920- 1940 Yusif Vazir Chamanzaminli, Rashid bey Afandiyev, Vali Khuluflu, Bayramalibayov and others collected a lot of materials consisting of eposes and saga parts and published them in various media outlets.
At that time, it was noteworthy to allocate special section for our folk literature in the published two volume book of “The history of Azerbaijani literature” of Ismail Hikmat for that period (8, 58). A number of our eposes are interpreted though in brief and they were assed assessed in that section. It is true that it is impossible to agree with some points of the author’s own assessment, interpretation and the division over eposes. However, his considerations and opinions can be considered valuable and important for that period. As these considerations were one of the first steps taken in the direction of the Azerbaijani folklore and played an important role in the direction of development and expansion of this field of science. So, Ismail Hikmat divided the epos that is marked with the name of “narrative type” in the mentioned chapter of the book of “The history of Azerbaijani literature”: the novel, the story, the saga. In the next phase, he again divided eposes that were called stories by him into four parts:
1) historical stories;
2) love stories;
3) heroic stories;
4) adopted stories.
It is also noteworthy that the author specially emphasizes that a number of legends which are named and given information about them in that chapter are the spiritual wealth of the Azerbaijani people. He proposed the idea that eposes such as “Ashug Garib”, “Koroghlu”, “Asli – Karam”, “Leyli – Majnun”, “Tahir- Zohra”, “Farhad – Shirin”, “Shah Ismail”, “Mahmud – Alif” were being told at every assemblies and they were came from mouth to mouth in the territory of Azerbaijan. While speaking about love stories, he states that though there are the effects of mysticism and even hurufism in some parts, the most influential novel of love among the other examples of folk literature is “Ashug Garib” (8, 58).
It should be noted that there were published some articles speaking about our love (as well as, heroic, family etc.) eposes in the first half of XX century. Among these, there are prefaces written by Abdulla Shaig for the book of “Azerbaijani ashugs”, Hanafi Zeynalli for the book of “Azerbaijani folk literature”, articles entitled “People’s literature or people’s words” of R.Afandizade (7, 23-36) and “Certificates referring to Azerbaijani literary in Tribes’ period” (1, 48- 53) of Amin Abid.
Hard work of our famous academicians Hamid Arasli, Mammad Arif and others in the direction of investigation and study, collection and publication of our love eposes is undeniable. First of all, Hamid Arasli participated in the collection and publication of many of them and wrote extensive scientific articles about some of love eposes. All the formation of saga is reviewed and followed in the historical background from the parts of Dede Korkut up to the new works of ashugs who lived during the Soviet period in his extensive report entitled “Azerbaijani ashugs” written on the eve of III Congress of Azerbaijani ashugs. The author here tries to identify the century in which each epos was created along with explaining the secrets of classical eposes’ living for centuries.
Although H.Arasli who had major efforts in the direction of study and research, as well as, their collection and publication of our eposes had a number of controversial findings and opinions with which it is impossible to agree, “Ashug creativity” deserves to be highly appreciated. It should be noted that the doctoral thesis of the mentioned author entitled “History of XVII – XVIII centuries’ literature” is of particular importance. He speaks about the public importance of “Ashug Garib”, “Abbas – Gulgaz”, “Shah Ismail”, “Shahriyar” etc. eposes in this work by analyzing them from artistic point of view.
It should be noted that the study of Azerbaijani love eposes and their becoming into the subject of extensive researches passed a long and contentious historical way. This process is accompanied by the serious polemics, discussions and disputes, opposing views and opinions of the most outstanding folklore scholars and writers and academicians. Academician Hamid Arasli, national writer Mirza Ibrahimov, Mirali Seyidov, Feyzulla Gasimzade, Alyar Garabaghli, Ahliman Akhundov, Farhad Farhadov, Safura Yagubova, Pasha Afandiyev, Mammadhuseyn Tahmasib and other authors expressed various views and opinions related to the history of love eposes, their classification and formation methods in their works. Particularly, provisions set forth about the ways of formation of these precious masterpieces of art draw attention with their diversity, as they say, colorfulness. So professor F.Gasimzade, paying special attention to oral or folk literature in his work entitled “The history of XIX century’s Azerbaijani literature”, gives information about the life and activities of a number of master ashugs and speaks about the history of study and publication of ashug literature and their unique features. Specifically focusing on Goshma (form of an Azerbaijani poem) which is one of the main poem forms, as well as, tajnis that is considered to be the most difficult genre of folk literature, he speaks about their history, artistic and poetic features, classifies them and finally, puts forward interesting provisions related to our love eposes and their formation methods and ways. Notwithstanding that, the author divides love eposes into two groups without saying any word about heroic epics in the above – mentioned work. He states that the epics which belong to the first group are true love eposes. Based on goshmas and geraylis of master ashugs who had passed away they are formed by ashugs who lived and worked after them.
Therefore, there are two styles in those eposes: “…. The part of tale entitled “Country” belongs to the author of the epos, and the part of poem belongs to master ashug” (12, 137). This opinion itself shows that F.Gasimzade reviews epos as an example of written literature and that he doesn’t understand its structural semantics.
Academician H.Arasli, addressing this issue in his work entitled “Ashug creativity” comes to quite different conclusion. In his opinion, our eposes are formed not by two ways, but three ways. One of them is that “in some eposes poems created by contemporaries related to the name of personality lived in the history forms the basis of that epos” (2, 13). Though the author shows “Koroghlu” epos as an example in order to support this opinion, it gets clear that he had difficulty to show and add other examples.
The researcher, continuing his classification, showing “Abbas and Gulgaz”, “Gurbani”, “Ashug Garib” eposes, refers these to the second group of love eposes formed by others based on the poems of master ashugs who had passed away which F.Gasimzade considered as first. H.Arasli called such formed eposes created and formed by the third way saying that “Love eposes about master ashugs were sometimes created by themselves when they were alive” (2, 13). However, these kinds of epics were written by F.Gasimzade being referred to the eposes created by the second way: “…. Epos was created by the ashug himself” (12, 137).
It should be noted that this difference of opinion is not limited only with H.Arasli and F.Gasimzade. Conflicting views related to the ways of formation of love eposes in our Folkloristic science covered a wide area in the last century. A number of our prominent folklore researches concluded that our love eposes were created based on the goshma and geraylis of master ashugs by the ashugs who lived and created works after they died – that’s by their students or other unknown authors. This opinion for the first times was differentiated by a plurality of supporters. In 1960s, Mirali Seyidov whose essays were published about great poets and ashugs of XVII and XVIII centuries in the book of “The history of Azerbaijani literature” (4, 485- 486) supporting the above-mentioned opinion, emphasizes that the eposes of “Abbas and Gulgaz”, “Khasta Gasim” were created based on the poems of Tufarganli Abbas and Khasta Gasim by the ashugs who lived after them in those essays.
We consider it important to bring into your attention the specific views related to the love eposes of academician Mirza Ibrahimov. His many works dedicated to folk literature, ashug creativity attracts the attention. Among these, articles such as “Inexhaustible treasure” (11, 316) , “Realism in Ashug poetry” (10, 165- 187) etc. of the author published in 1960s, we consider that, retain their relevance for today. Academician, along with interpreting and explaining the issue of realism which is rarely mentioned related to ashug creativity and our eposes in these articles, showing the eposes of “Abbas – Gulgaz”, “Good- Bad” as an example, though indirectly agreeing with the researches who suggests that these kinds of eposes were created by the other ashugs based on the goshmas and geraylis of Tufarganli Abbas and Sari Ashug writes: “Abbas Tufarganli had a beautiful lover named Gulgaz Pari. Almost she was praised in all the goshmas of Abbas. It should be that Abbas really loved Gulgaz with great romantic love, as great heart beating is noticed in the poems dedicated to her. Later on, the above mentioned epos of “Abbas and Gulgaz” was created based on these poems” (10, 171).
In general, the hard and intensive work of Mammadhuseyn Tahmasib, one of the most prominent researches of Azerbaijani folklore studies, as well as, our love eposes in the field of investigation, study and publication of our love eposes is undeniable. The researcher, especially expressing a number of opinions about the ways of creation of these eposes, commenting on them, making comparisons, revealed some conclusions that his efforts should be especially appreciated.
First of all, it should be noted that Mammadhuseyn Tahmasib acknowledges that those who promoted the idea of the creation of love eposes using goshmas and geraylis of master ashugs by the ashugs coming after them occupy majority among the researches of folklore and that previously he also shared those conclusions. However he, continuing his idea, writes: “…. A more detailed study clearly showed that this is injustice against our known – famous master ashugs, the wrong way as taking such an important creativity process as saga from the hands of great, outstanding masters and relate them to chances. Whether is it easy to create eposes with plot, conflict and characters, specific, with Ashig and Mashug, with “closing” and “opening” parts, “duvaqqapma” and “ustadname” (masterpiece in literature) than forming small poems, goshmas that we relate this second one to masters, and the first one to accidental “unknown peoples?” (14, 19-20). In our opinion, it is not right to completely agree with this opinion of professor Mammadhuseyn Tahmasib. As, there is a need to justify findings and classifications of H.Arasli, F.Gasimzade, M.Ibrahimov and such authors to some extent. First of all, we should highlight one important point that to accept the opinion of creation of “Abbas and Gulgaz”, “Ashug Garib”, “Gurbani”, “Khasta Gasim” and other famous love eposes based on the poems of Tufarganli Abbas, Ashug Garib, Gurbani, Khasta Gasim and other master ashugs by the ashugs coming after them and their students should not be assessed as depriving them from the power of saga or injustice against those master ashugs. On the contrary, it is unfair to call ashugs coming after the mentioned master ashugs as “strangers” or “unknown ones” (for example, their names don’t remain in the history. In fact, it should not be remained. Perhaps they, only faithfully serving to their masters, hadn’t included their names in those eposes). The provision that their being created famous eposes about their masters, in our opinion, doesn’t deprive masters from the power of saga. As, professor Mammadhuseyn Tahmasib himself acknowledging the existence of some other eposes created by the those master ahugs writes: “One of the most substantials is that (that’s the evidences proving the creation of “Gurbani” epos by Ashug Gurbani and “Abbas – Gulgaz” by Tufarganli Abbas – C.I.), these artists had and have other eposes” (14, 21). However, taking this evidence as a basis, in our opinion, it doesn’t make any sense to necessarily decide on the creation of “Abbas – Gulgaz” by Tufarganli Abbas and “Gurbani” by Ashug Gurbani.
We consider that the considerations of F.Gasimzade, M.Seyidov and other researchers are more reasonable. There some objective reasons that we come to such conclusion. First of all, it is necessary to review a number of characteristics of intellectuals, the class prone to poetry and art and not neglect their extreme sensitivity, emotionality and adventurism for heroism, love issues. It is known that master ashug extremely likes and has this potential to exaggerate, further magnify its character at the same time, the artist to whom it believes more, without any specific artist and to tell unusual, incredible adventures, stories and events about them, as well as, to create tales, myths and epics and enthusiastically tell them with. In this case, is there a need for master ashug who is the favorite ashug of the people to create epic about himself and related to his name? It seems to us that there is no any need. However, of course, there are great need for young ashugs’ who are not completely known and still not famous to read from the poems of master ahugs, tell stories, events and adventures about their lives and creativities, the power of their talents and stories related to them and to capture their audience for the sake of attracting the attention of people and gain their love at gatherings. And desire and attempts to meet this need in the highest level is logically possible and this may lead to create and form perfect eposes about those master ashugs.
On the other hand, we must not forget that the profession of ashug has specific rules of good manners and perhaps, the first one of these is related to modesty. Master Ashug’s creation of a number of eposes about any folk or national hero, as well as, master craftsman shall be without any prejudice to his modesty. However, as to speak about himself so much and create epos is somehow considered to be boasting and pride, master ashug’s being modest, creating epos about himself, forming and leaving it to the ashugs coming after him, in our opinion, is more reasonable and probable variant. Knowing that Miskin Abdal, Ashug Ali, Ashug Alasgar and others’ who lived relatively close to modern times not creating any epos about themselves gives us the courage to say this opinion. In addition to this, not including the name of any other ashug in “Abbas – Gulgaz”, “Gurbani”, “Khasta Gasim”, “Ashug Garib”, “Asli and Karam” etc. love eposes, probably, along with their loyalty to the masters of ashugs who created them, preserving the tradition of the classic saga came from their obeying to good manners and modesty.
Once again it should be emphasized that, in our opinion, it certainly does not seem reasonable that talented persons, great personalities, the giants of folklore such as Tufarganli Abbas, Gurbani etc. creating eposes related to their names and speaking about themselves at gatherings. In our opinion, it is more convincing to claim that for example, Gurbani created epic (even epics!) about Shah Ismail Khatai whom he called his “Murshid” (as his Teacher). Moreover, coming to the above – mentioned sharp and sarcastic question of professor Mammadhuseyn Tahmasib (Whether is it easy to create eposes with plot, conflict and characters, specific, with Ashig and Mashug, with “closing” and “opening” parts, “duvaqqapma” and “ustadname” (masterpiece in literature) than forming small poems, goshmas that we relate this second one to masters, and the first one to accidental “unknown peoples?” (14, 20)), here let’s pay attention to some subtle nuances. First of all, it is bitter regret that a distinguished professor’s who gave valuable contributions to our folklore study science, and especially, had invaluable services in the field of collection, recording, publication and study of our eposes, humiliating and calling our goshmas and geraylis as “small poems” and telling that it is easy to create them. In our opinion, on the contrary, not only to create epos, but also to create poetic goshmas and geraylis - to express great points with few words requires great talent and skill from master. Though hundreds of master ashug create hundreds of eposes, in our opinion, again only the following lines of Gurbani are more precious spiritual wealth and more valuable work of art:
“Come in to the garth my loving kindness,
Let the garth be lightened up from your magic fairness.
Picking up, wearing on chin with bunches,
Violet smells girl and the girl violet” (3, 85).
On the other hand, just these “small poems” – goshmas and geraylis organize the integral part and core of epos. We consider that to create eposes based on the goshmas and geraylis, tajnises of master ashug is like to build a house from finished products (stone, sand, cement etc.).
Moreover, if the “gifilbend (a kind of Azeri ashug poems), opening and closing parts” in the eposes belong to master ashugs and at least, brief history (location or place) of each goshma, gerayli, tajnis, mukhammas (Middle Ages eastern poem of five lines), gıfılband (a kind of Azeri ashug poems), opening and closing parts is known (it is clear that in most cases, master ashugs at least had spoken about the history of most of their poems, interesting and unusual stories, kind of poems composed by ashugs and their experiences with other master or non-master ashugs ), that here which great talent and skill can be required in order to create epos about that master ashug, to create epos shall be easy to create valuable masterpieces - beautiful poetical samples with great skill ?!
And on the other hand, we don’t have any evidence or proof for calling ashugs coming after Gurbani, Tufarganli Abbas and others as “unknown ones” and we don’t have any right to do this. As such eposes can be created by any great master ahugs (or ashugs) who lived and created after those masters, brought them into the perfect epos and their names can be kept secret for the sake of modesty and ethics.
Professor Mammadhuseyn Tahmasib based on the assumption of “in our opinion, “Gurbani” is an epos just created by Gurbani himself and “Abbas- Gulgaz” is an epos just created by Abbas himself” (14, 20-21), mentioning Soviet ashugs as a basis, writes that it is the most reasonable way to create the epos by the master ashug himself: “The third way which is shown by H.Arasli, that’s “more exactly, the way of epos was created by ashug himself” (2, 13) and the note of F. Gasimzade that “love eposes about master ashugs were sometimes created by themselves while they were alive” (12, 137), in our opinion, was the most reasonable way in the epos creativity and this way is now maintained by Soviet ashugs” (14, 21). We consider that we need to think a little more detailed and deeper about this issue. First of all, eposes created by the Soviet ashugs are much different from the classical love eposes by quality and they are below. Goshmas and geraylis used in most of them are quite weak and dull poems in poetic terms. The prose - narrative part of these eposes prevail the part of poetry and stands higher than it. According to today’s facts, though the problem of creation of poems in eposes for the sake of prose (events and stories, adventures), or prose for the sake of poems is not yet fully resolved, the extreme weakness and dimness of characters in the love eposes created during Soviet era shows that the majority of the poems used in the mentioned eposes were created for the sake of plot, deliberately developed events, and in a word, the part of prose. In other words, that’s epos is not created based on the poems, but poems are created based on the epos. And it seems to us that by this wrong way it never is possible to create successful, valuable masterpiece. As poem is not written when it is wanted, it is created when the time comes. If the poem is weak, in our opinion, surely the author has forced himself to do it and he hasn’t waited for getting animated and its time to reach out. Perhaps, Soviet ashugs had the desire to create eposes, and forcing themselves to do it for the sake of something and dreary poems, simple goshmas and geraylis had been adapted to deliberately made events. Once again, we emphasize: this wrong way, method, in our opinion, absolutely couldn’t be the continuation of the method of creation of classical love eposes. And professor Tahmasib’s omission of this subtle point is simply regrettably.
By the way, it should be also noted that the soviet ideology turned our literature, folklore to the integral part of its propaganda machine as in all fields of our culture and morality. They encouraged and tempted our ashugs as our poets and writers with various titles, awards, fees and other means and directed them to any direction which they wanted. At this time, poets created their poem, writers their novels, and stories, playwrights their dramas and ashug their goshmas and eposes in a mercenary way. Getting title, gaining reputation and make a living turned the main objectives of the creation of works. And there were not allowed to create valuable masterpieces in a natural way, disinterested and aimless. There were pretty ridiculous and offensive demands put forward by them. For example: if you are poet, you should have poem, and if you are writer, you should have prose and if you are ashug, in this case you should have epos on this subject etc. And instead, award, titles, privileges, or something else are waiting for you etc. And such things didn’t exist during the times of Abbas Tufarganli, Khasta Gasim and Gurbani. Their poems were being created at their own times. And the most possible option is that those poems were spread from gatherings to gathering, from hamlet to hamlet and shared by everyone, stories and legends, adventures were being collected in natural way, and as a result, they were being systemized disinterestedly by master ashugs who lived and created in the next period and turned into perfect eposes. Thus, all of these notes let us tell that the main, leading method in the epos creativity is the method of creation of our love eposes by using goshmas, geraylis, tajnis, gifilband, opening and closing parts, love stories, unusual experiences and stories – poems of master ashugs and legends about them spreading all the hamlet etc. by the ashugs coming after them.
However, the issues of investigation and study of our love eposes are not limited to those described facts. Various peculiar considerations of many authors exist in this subject. And, in our opinion, none of these considerations can be considered as ambiguous and final conclusion related to the ways of creation, classification and a number of other characteristics of love eposes. If it will be possible, in this case, the process of investigation and study of love eposes would be completed. However, along with this, regardless of whether each opinion, consideration, division, grouping, classification is reasonable to some extent, they are worthy to be assessed, even to be applauded and evaluated as a next step forward in this field in folklore studies. In this regard, opinions and considerations, classification, provisions and conclusions of corresponding member of NASA, head of the Department of “Folklore” of BSU, Professor Azad Nabiyev are distinguished by their peculiarity.
The author calling the examples of ancient Turkish folk prose such as “Alp Ar Tonga”, “Shu”, “Oghuz Khagan”, “Arganakon”, “Manas”, “Alpamish”, “Maaday Gara”, “The Book of Dede Korkut”, “Koroghlu” as eposes and distinguishing them from our love eposes justifies its opinion in this way that “in the epos, all the nation are mobilized to protect honor and dignity of people and nation – a single aim combining all the people. In such examples, the hero is all tribe, nation, people who are ready to endure all kinds of ill-treatment in order to protect their dignity, honor, integrity, borders of native land, domestic and coexistence rules, norms of morality and good manners…
But the hero in love eposes is an individual. They are Ashug Abbas, Dede Kerem, Ashug Garib, Ashug Abdulla, Ashug Veleh and others who are standing against the rulers, religious leaders, merchant-chiefs and opponents only having social preferences and violating their rights for free love, happy life and inviolable human rights. Though the higher the social and public content in love eposes, and though the events described here reflect various features of public life, it couldn’t rise to the level of epic thinking. It is satisfied with reflecting contradictions and contrasts, antagonisms within the borders of specified prohibitions” (13, 340).
To make a number of amendments to the provision set forth in the quote which is distinguished by its originality and logic, we consider that, is worthy. First of all, we should note that most of the researchers up to A.Nabiyev, considering “Koroghlu” and “The Book of Dede Korkut”, as well as, other examples of folk prose which are distinguished by the mentioned author being called as eposes, called them heroism eposes. However, though there is a bit mistake by distinguishing two synonym words and giving separate meanings to each of them, there is reality and truth in the opinion of A.Nabiyev. Really, the interest of public – nation, country, and people, even state is in the foreground in ancient heroism eposes which is distinguished by the author as being called epos. However, one point also should be taken into consideration that human rights and freedoms, freedom of spirituality, freedom of love for which Tufarganli Abbas, Khan Karam, Ashug Garib, Gurbani and others struggled as an individual, in substance, serves directly for the interest of public. At the end, their reaching goals and succeeding means the victory of truth and justice in the society. The difference is only in the way of fighting and struggling and it has its own objective reasons. First of all, period, time and public formations existing during those times. Here, the points related to the real situation of hero, its status and position in the formation, society and state in which he lives and which powers does the hero have should not be ignored. Tufarganli Abbas, Ashug Garib, Gurbani, Khasta Gasim and heroes of other love eposes were not only fighting for their own personal interests. They, along with struggling for their own personal desires and love as an individual, at the same time, would had served for the interest of people, nation, society, and even state by protesting and not agreeing with injustices and oppressions in the society that (it is clear that one, perhaps, the first one of the conditions required for the strength of supports of state, the longevity of power is its establishment on truth and justice, the fairness of the laws and rules and worthy representation of people and each individual) and as a result, there were generously share from the victories that they had obtained for people, society and state to which they belonged.
And at the same time, from their defeats. That’s why, in our opinion, love eposes, as above-mentioned, the opinion of “it is satisfied with reflecting contradictions and contrasts, antagonisms within the borders of specified prohibitions” (13, 340) cannot be considered so fair assessment. Though Ashug Abbas, Dede Kerem, Ashug Garib, Ashug Abdulla, Ashug Valeh and others didn’t have great powers and opportunities to gather troops, be the ruler in order to fight for the interest of public, to establish their desires and ideals, the fair rules in the state in which they were being represented, they were fighting for the victory of truth and justice within society and state with the help of imaginary supernatural forces standing behind them and simply, in the positive result, the smallest share was theirs as a result of this victory – they could gain their loves and achieve their desires. Characters, such as fair Shah, Pasha, Sultan etc. in these kinds of eposes giving lesson to Shahs, Pashas and Sultans of those times, improving their features, aimed to bring them to the right path.
Their different kinds of classifications are given by researchers in the history of investigation and study of our love eposes. Some important researchers from Ismail Hikmat to academician Hamid Arasli, Feyzulla Gasimzade, as well as, Mammadhuseyn Tahmasib whose services in this field are invaluable also have different classifications of our eposes. If we would say that the classification of professor Tahmasib is the most perfect one among them and relatively, the one which is worthy of higher assessments among them, probably, we wouldn’t be wrong. The above-mentioned author, initially, divided eposes, into three main groups as a whole:
“I. Heroic eposes;
II. Love eposes;
III. Family – morality eposes” (14, 112).
After this division researcher again dividing love eposes into subgroups within it, carried out their more complex divison:
“1. Eposes standing within the boundaries of love and heroic eposes.
2. True love eposes:
a) Love eposes related to tales,
b) Love eposes related to ancient epos,
c) Love eposes related to written literature,
d) Original love eposes.
3. Eposes dedicated to figurative love:
a) Astral eposes,
b) Symbolic eposes.
III. Family –morality eposes” (14, 112).
However, the author himself understood and acknowledged that this complex, scattered division was not completely accurate and correct due to collection and publication works were not in a satisfactory level.
Other researcher professor A. Nabiyev, highly appreciating the classification of Mammmadhuseyn Tahmasib that is considered acceptable for that period, conducting relatively simplified and more reasonable classification of our love eposes in the textbook of “Azerbaijani folk literature” published in 2006, tried to justify its division with wide explanations from logical point of view. We briefly present the division of the above-mentioned author to you:
a) Eposes created based on tale motifs.
b) Ordinary love eposes.
c) Autobiographical eposes;
1. Eposes of Ashig – Mashug (Lovers);
2. Eposes created by means of budding.
d) Eposes created based on the plots or stories coming from written literature and merchant-noble life.
3. Love eposes created based on traditional plots or stories” (13, 350-351).
It should be noted that it is felt to go into details and to do small items and parts in excessive complexity and generalization in the division itself. Along with having a number of advantages from the previous divisions, it has also features which cannot be considered acceptable for today. However, despite this, the notes of the author justifying the points which he considered more superior and correct from the division of professor Mammadhuseyn Tahmasib with wide explanations is of interest and it is distinguished by common sense. In our opinion, it is not inappropriate here to show some of them.
A.Nabiyev firstly notes that in general, love eposes were motivated from “two main sources and passed the process of becoming sagas. Firstly, the unknown, most favorite tales were used as love eposes passing into repertoire of ashugs. Secondly, ashugs composed and made eposes based on the love of “Ashigs” and “Mashugs” (the Lovers) to which they witnessed and heard about them. … Therefore, it is not acceptable to divide love eposes into groups such as the eposes standing in the borders of heroism and love or true love eposes. As, the eposes standing in the borders of heroism and love were polished passing the stage of becoming sagas as true love eposes in the repertoire of ashug based on the tale motifs” (13, 353 – 354).
We consider that the remark mentioned in the quote is logical. However, the mentioned and offered new variant is not so acceptable. As the issues of complexity and going into details are also felt here. It is true that love eposes in the second group in new division carried out by the investigator were given under the single heading. However, subdivisions within this group are many in number and the division is being implemented inaccurately, how to say, is very detailed. For example, which eposes have been included in the subdivision called as “ordinary love eposes” and their fairness raises doubt. In addition to this, in our opinion, there is no any need for the division of two subgroups called “Ashig- Mashug eposes” and “eposes created by means of budding”. And also the word “budding” does not hit the right nail on the head; in fact, it should be as “bud-taking”. Both of these can be also given in the same group. Then, the creation of our love eposes by the master ashug himself or any ashug or ashugs coming after him who are the hero of saga of many love eposes is not exactly known, we consider that, to divide the subgroup called “autobiographical eposes” doesn’t seem logical. As well, to carry out division under the name of “eposes created based on plots coming from written literature and merchant-noble life”, in our opinion, is not appropriate. As, the subject becomes more detailed. Finally, it doesn’t get clear that the researcher’s being in the opinion to refer which love eposes here by suggesting new third group under the title of “love eposes created based on the traditional plots”. As, he had given much importance to eposes that can be referred here in the previous subgroups.
Specific notes of Professor Fuzuli Bayat, who is one of the great investigators and researchers of our Folklore studies, as well as, love eposes in the modern times related to the classification of our eposes are of interest. The author saying that “Epos is oral history of nation created by itself; and it is the history which is made oral, generalized, full of with anachronism and displacements” (5, 256) conducts quite short, concise division of our eposes as follows:
“1. Heroic eposes;
2. Love eposes;
1a. Fugitive eposes;
2a. Religious-mystical legends” (5,256-266).
It should be noted that opinions and considerations of most of the researchers of folklore studies, as well as, love eposes mentioned in this section, suggestions put forward by them in the field of determination of the way of creation of love eposes and their classifications and each of their provisions have great importance in itself and all of these are worthy to be highly appreciated as the steps taken in the direction of approaching to the greatest truth and reality.
Meanwhile, investigations, studies, exchange of views, disputes etc. are continued. In our opinion, it is more appropriate to more likely agree with the division carried out by professor F.Bayat related to the classification of our eposes. However, despite this we should also mention that especially more equitable, more logical, clear division of our love eposes will be conducted in the next research works. In this sense, greater responsibility falls on the future researchers.
Scientific innovation of the study: In the article, logical –critical attitude is set out towards the investigation history of classical love eposes and the previsions put forward.
The scientific results of the study: In the article, the history of investigation of classical love eposes, being followed with chronic sequence in scientific-theoretical perspective, has been examined in detail and critical attitude and new scientific and logical conclusions have been reached out.
1. Abid A., Certificates referring to Azerbaijani Literature in Tribes’ period, The way of studying Azerbaijan, issue 3
2. Araslı H., Ashug creativity, Baku, 1960
3. Azerbaijani eposes in 5 volumes, 1st volume, Baku: Leader, 2005
4. History of Azerbaijan Literature, I volume, Baku: EA Press, 1960
5. Bayat F., Folklore courses, Baku: Science and Education, 2012
6. Eposes and tales (collected by Alizade H.), Baku, 1937
7. Afandizade R., People’s literature and people’s words, The way of studying Azerbaijan, Baku, 1928
8. Hikmat İ., History of Azerbaijan Literature, I volume, Baku: Azerneshr, 1928
9. Folk eposes (collected and compiled by Akhundov A.), Baku: Azerneshr, 1961
10. Ibrahimov M., Realism in Ashug poetry, Journal of Azerbaijan, 1964, №4
11. Ibrahimov M., Inexhaustible treasure, Journal of Azerbaijan, 1960, №7
12. Gasimzade F., The history of XIX century’s Azerbaijani literature, Baku, ADU Press, 1956
13. Nabiyev A., Azerbaijani folk literature (II part), Baku: “Elm” press, 2006
14. Tahmasib M.H. Azerbaijani folk eposes (middle ages), Baku: “Elm” press, 1972
Klassik ənənə və XX əsr Azərbaycan məhəbbət dastanları
Özət: Məqalədə Azərbaycan məhəbbət dastanlarının araşdırılma tarixinə geniş müstəvidə, tarixi inkişaf zəminində diqqətlə nəzər yetirilərək, söylənən fikir və mülahizələrə yeni elmi-nəzəri münasibət ortaya qoyulmuşdur. Məhəbbət dastanlarının xalq arasında yayılıb sevilməsinin səbəbləri, kimlər tərəfindən necə yaranma məsələləri və s. obyektiv məntiqi dəlillərlə şərh olunmuşdur.
Açar sözlər: Məhəbbət, dastan, yaranma üsulu, araşdırma.
Классические традиции и Азербайджанские романические дастаны ХХ века
Аннотация: В статье в широком аспекте обращено внимание на историю исследования азербайджанских романических дастанов, на его развитие в историческом аспекте, выявлено новое научно – теоретическое отношение на высказанные размышления и рассуждения. Логическими фактами разъясняется распространение романических дастанов в народе, причины любви к дастанам, вопросы о том как были созданы эти дастаны
Ключевые слова: Любовь, дастан, способы создания, исследование.
Azerbaijani love eposes of classical tradition and the twentieth century
Abstract: The article, paying close attention to the history of research of Azerbaijani love eposes in a broader context and on the basis of historical development, puts forward new scientific - theoretical approach on the expressed opinions and views. The reasons of love eposes being spread and loved among people, the issues related to how and by whom they were formed etc. are interpreted by the objective logical evidences.
Key words: love, epos, the method of formation, research.
Cəmilə ÇİÇƏK (İsbəndiyarova)
AMEA Folklor İnstitutunun doktorantı,
AJB və AYB-nin üzvü, Prezident təqaüdçüsü
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