Reviews

Devoted to the Karakalpak poet Berdi-Murad Qargha-Bay-ughli ‘Berdaq’ (1827-1900), this quick article briefly surveys his life, from his education and initiation in the madrasa of Qaraqum Ishan on the shore of the Aral Sea, his early fatherlessness and hard living as a fisher and a peasant, his career as a poet and bakhshi, until his death at 73, and his burial besides his master’s grave.  The remaining part of the article is an overview of Berdaq’s themes, with a conformist emphasis on the poet’s “denunciation of the people’s sufferings.”  This rare appearance of a paper on Karakalpak early modern literature in Uzbekistani academic periodicals would have deserved more—specially more attention to the treatment of the Russian conquest of the Khanate of Khiva, in 1873, in the vernacular literature of the following decades (the subject of substantial research and publications as far as the history of contemporary Uzbek-language literature is concerned).

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-6.3.B-575