The representative of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan, Orazklychev told how the writer George Sand introduced France to the Turkmen hero.
The Turkmen heroic epic, based on the tradition of oral stories about the achievements of the hero Gorogly, occupies an important place in the literature of the Central Asian country. In December 2015, the narrative was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Juma Orazklychev, an employee of the Institute of History and Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan (AST), told CentralAsia.news how the hero of the Turkmen Odyssey waited for his Homer and won the hearts of the French people!
The first publication in the «Independent Journal»
— In 1843 the first part of the epic «Gorogly» was published in the «Independent Journal» in Paris. The public wasn’t interested in it, but the epic was lucky that the famous writer George Sand worked on the publication, — noted Orazklychev.
According to him, Sand translated the epic into French from the English version published by the Polish poet and orientalist Alexander Khodzko, who was one of the first translators of Turkmen poetry, such as Magtymguly’s poems, into European languages.
— After reading the epic, the writer decided that her compatriots should definitely get to know Gorogly and his horse Gyrat, which helped the hero himself and made the legend happen, — said the expert.
Orazklychev added that she understood it because she spent her childhood in the rural estate of Noan far away from secular Paris. At that time she had the only passion — horse riding.
The second attempt to introduce France to «Gorogly»
Later, the magazine published other parts of the epic, and Gorogly won the hearts of the French people. The employee of AST noted that in 1855, in 12 years after the first attempt, the writer made a preface to the new edition, she said to the readers: «Why, haven’t you read Gorogly?! Gorogly was translated from the Turkic language… Ah, if I knew Turkic, I would not want to be reproached for not knowing Gorogly»!
— «Gorogly» is a very beautiful and very interesting work, but, nevertheless, it was not successful in «Independent Journal», where I published a brief translation. For the sake of maintaining a friendship with the publisher, I was forced to suspend this work, which, as I was told, does not meet the interests of the magazine. But I protested and protest now against the intellect of subscribers who prefer new novels to original creations of foreign literature… In art, as in everything else, the public must be pushed towards discoveries, — Orazklychev quoted the French writer.
Sand revealed the origin of «Gorogly»
In her text, George Sand emphasized that Gorogly was Turkmen, a native of the Teke tribe from northern Khorasan. Turkestan and the coast of the Caspian Sea are filled with the glory of this hero, and the story of his achievements is as popular as the story of the Trojan War during Homer’s time, said an employee of the Institute of History and Archeology of the AST.
Orazklychev noted that the French writer called Gorogly Napoleon of a nomadic tribe and pointed out the authenticity of the canvas of his history.
— Yes, Gorogly crosses cliffs and rivers on horseback, single-handedly destroys an entire army, eats and drinks like the heroes of François Rabelais. But in the depths of this fantastic panorama — he is a very real person, moreover, he is very sane. Gorogly was much more than a poet; more than a bard; more than erudite. He was more than a king; more than a philosopher, — wrote Sand.
«Gorogly» and Ferdowsi
According to the expert, Sand made a comparison between Ferdowsi and Gorogly.
— Ferdowsi wrote an epic, filigree, and unhurriedly polishing his work in between court delights. Gorogly improvised in the middle of the desert in a simple folk language in between his achievements, therefore his stanzas are energetic, abrupt, and harsh, like his life itself, like his character and character of his brothers-in-arms. Maybe that’s why among two of them the minstrel Gorogly is more popular, both in terms of geographical coverage and the number of passionate admirers. At the same time, it is surprising that it was Gorogly who remained unknown to Europeans until the middle of the 19th century, — Orazklychev quoted the words of the writer.
Sand underlined that the publication of an epic is important not only within curiosity about epic literature. He is not just a hero, the genius Gorogly personifies, first of all, the moral code of the nation. Gorogly is a nomad in all his attractive and formidable poetic incarnation, an Eastern warrior in all his exceptional courage, she wrote.
Sand marked the greatness of «Gorogly»
According to Sand, Gorogly was an idol for his comrades. Women were crazy about him, and children dreamed of becoming the same as him — a knight without fear and reproach. If Ferdowsi’s Rustam is a hero, loyal to his ruler, or prostrated before the god before his God, Gorogly does not know any other God besides himself and he is faithful only to his own oath.
Gorogly was marked with a sign of greatness since he was born. He was destined to accomplish great things, for himself and in the name of his tribe, and like all noble people of his time, he was born brave and proud. The songs that permeate the entire poem should be perceived as «the breath of Gorogly», underlined the writer.
Turkmen epic in modern France
— The Turkmen epic narrated by George Sand continues to be published in France. One of the last publications of «Gorogly» came out in 2011 and the famous writer does not get tired of addressing to the readers again and again: «I speak like a Turkmen bakhshi, please me and listen to me as glorious Turkmens», — said the representative of the AST.
Orazklychev drew attention to the fact that the Turkmen people honor Gorogly. Streets in Turkmenistan are named after him, his image can be seen on banknotes. a monument to Gorogly is erected and in the capital, near the Independence Monument.
— The Turkmen hero is also the property of all people on the planet, and that is why the epic «Gorogly» was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2015, — pointed out the expert.