Reviews

Studying the recent official reassessments of early-twentieth-century Turkistani nationalist writers, the author shows how, in early independent Uzbekistan, literary scholars and critics have employed political rehabilitation as an instrument to deconstruct and decentre the principles and values of Soviet rule seen as a colonial rule.  A summary overview of the history of Jadidism is followed by the evocation of the prominent writers Fitrat and Chulpan’s respective critical echo during their lifetime (both were eliminated during the Red Terror, in 1937 and 1938 respectively), and of their successive political rehabilitations—extremely partial during the Thaw and Perestroika (both continuing then to be perceived as figureheads of ‘bourgeois nationalism’, and their republished works purged of any anti-Russian elements), more extensive during the first decade of Uzbekistan’s independence (Fitrat and Chulpan being promoted to the status of posthumous champions of anti-colonial struggle and autochthonous modernisation).  The author astutely observes the continuation of the same methods between the Soviet and current periods, especially the overall tendency to idealise and essentialise certain ideological and cultural values.

The Redaction
CER: I-6.3.C-589