Reviews

Following a study on Mu’min Qana‘at’s production in the mid-1970s (reviewed supra), this article deals at more length with the post-WWII period of the poet’s work. This time, S. Abdullo focuses on the poems “Wounded Books (Kitobhoi zakhmin, 1969)” and “The Song of Stalingrad (Surushi Stalingrad, 1971)” in which Darwaz-born Qana‘at has expressed, through a succession of concrete images, the tragic impact of the distant conflict on the Tajik children of his generation. Unfortunately, here again the reader will find very few elements of the genesis of these works. As to the comparative material provided, for instance between the “Voices of Stalingrad” and . . . a Russian translation of the Avesta by I. Braginskii, it does not rely on a reconstruction of the poet’s readings and intentions, but rather on the necessities of critic’s own discourse on the rehabilitation of Soviet Tajik literature as an expression of moral consistency in the Iranian world, through the upheavals of the twentieth century. Too often, Tajik literary critique, even in the emigration, remains limited, as it was during the Soviet time, to an overall evaluation of contents on the basis of as global as elusive norms of the good and the evil. If it is not with good sentiments that one makes good literature, as André Gide used to put it, can’t the same be said of literary critique?

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: II-5.2.B-434