Reviews

A philologist originating from a long lineage of literati and scholars from Istrawshan (ex Ura-Teppa, north of present-day Tajikistan), the author has used of family papers and memories for writing this monograph on his relative Zufar-Khan Jawhari (1860-1945), a prominent figure of the literary circles in the north of the Tajik SSR during the first half of the twentieth century.  His study follows the publication of several collections of verses by Jawhari in Dushanbe during the 1990s.  In spite of the work’s very didactic character, and of the author’s lack of interest in the current theoretical debates about Tajikistan’s literary history, the book deepens our still very superficial knowledge of the functioning of literati cenacles and of the transmission of learning in Central Asia under the Russian Tsarist domination and in the first decades of the Soviet period.  A biography of the poet based on testimonies by contemporaries, companions and relatives is followed by a study on Jawhari’s critical posterity during the twentieth century, then by an analysis of his works by genre (ghazals, mukhammas, ruba‘iyyat, qasayid, dastans).  The book ends with a chapter on Jawhari’s language and style, and on the influence of the sabk-i hindi and of Bidil’s verses, as they have been imitated in the north of the Tajik SSR till wwii, on present-day Tajik poets.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-6.2.B-550