On the path of Gabit Musrepov
Literary-memorial museum of Gabit Musrepov opened in 1991 in the house where the writer lived and worked from 1968 to 1985 years. Museum of Gabit Musrepov is situated near the museum of Sabit Mukanov in Almaty, Karasay batyr street, 49. The pedagogue Nazira Dauletova was the first director of the museum.
There are two parts in the museum. In the literary part of the museum the exhibits telling about the life and art of the writer are located. In the memorial part – the study and the bedroom.
Gabit Musrepov — a Soviet Kazakh writer, playwright, People's Writer of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, President of the Kazakhstan Union of Writers (1956-1962, 1964-1966), member of the Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences, Secretary of the Union of Soviet Writers (1959), member of the 5th Convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.
G. Musrepov was born on 22 March 1902 in a village of Kostanay region. From 1923 to 1926 he studied at the Faculty of Workers in Orenburg, and then at the agro-economic institute at Omsk.
One of his first teachers was Beket Otetileuov, who wrote the recommendation to young Gabit to enter Kostanay training college.
Together with Saken Seifullin, IIyas Dzhansugurov, Beimbet Mailin, Mukhtar Auezov and Sabit Mukanov he founded the ground of the Kazakh Soviet literature.
His first story was “To the abyss” (“V puchine”) in 1928 about the events that occurred during the Russian Civil War in 1918-1920. In 1928, he collaborated at the literary journal “Jana-Adabiet”. Among his works the special one comes to be “Kyz-Zhibek”, the first libretto to a Kazakh opera and “The tragedy of the poet” (“Tragediya poeta”), written in 1958 (first version titled “Akan seri Aktokty”, 1942) about the tragedy of Ajani, a Kazakh singer and composer of the 19th century.
And he specialized in short stories, among which are “Pair of Lakes” (“Kos shalkar”, 1929), “Urgent” (“Shugyla”, 1933), “Stubby nostril” (“Talpak tanau”, 1933), novels — “Kazakh Soldier” (“Kazak soldaty”, 1949), “The Awakening of the Region” (“Oyangan olke”, 1953) and “Ulpan” (1976).
Also, he wrote plays — “Kyz-Zhibek” (1934), “Amangeldi” (1937), “Kozy-Korpesh and Bayan-Sulu” (1939) and “Poet's tragedy:” (“Tragediya poeta”, 1958).
Many of his works he devoted to the theme of a mother. In fact, he was inspired by the picture “Black Madonna” which he bought while visiting Carl Gaiek’s exhibition.
Gabit Musrepov had neither the second nor the third sample of his works. He wrote only in pencil and erased the moments he wanted to correct. All his works he wrote with the sense of humor.
The book stock of Gabit Musrepov reaches over 2 thousand books, two times less than Sabit Mukanov’s library. More than 1 thousand books he gave out to his motherland.
His mother Dina was a wise woman. His father Makhmut had two dreams: to become rich and give education for his children.
He was raised in an extended family. There were 7 children: 6 sons and one daughter. The elder brothers — Khamit and Sabit (died early), younger brothers — Bayazit, Ashim and Kazhim, sister —Gulsum.
Gabit Musrepov married three times in his life.
The first wife Kusni Yagafurova gave birth to four girls: Engelina, Raikhan, Akmaral and Dina. She cooked deliciously and perfumed his trousers while ironing them.
The second wife was Raisa Mukhamedyarova. She was 37 years younger than Gabit Musrepov and gave birth to two daughters: Gulnar and Gaukhar. They lived together for five years. After being divorced the writer bought her two-room apartment. Now, R. Mukhamedyarova is 85 years old.
The third wife was Gaziza Beisenova.
Gabit Musrepov had three passions in life. They are the collection of the wooden sticks (he gathered them in the forest abroad), the billiard (he was called the King of billiards) and hunting. He also played preference and smoked a lot.
After himself he left two heroic deeds:
1) “Letter of five” (4 July, 1932). Sherkhan Murtaza put on a staging in the theatre.
2) His article in the newspaper “Egemen Kazakstan” (1937), in which he spoke up for Beimbet Mailin. He said, “Once Beimbet is the enemy, arrest me as well”. But, unfortunately, Beimbet was arrested.
He traveled a lot, because he was a member of the Commission on the Protection of the World. He got many special presents, among which was the mammoth’s wool. Mammoth was taken from the deed sea.
He kept diaries. There were about 300 of them. The writer Abdilkhamit Narymbetov published one diary with the most important moments of G. Musrepov’s life in 1994.
Gabit Musrepov had friendly relationship with Saken Sefullin, who gave out one room to him to live for a while, Beimbet Mailin, who worked with him in the newspaper, Sabit Mukanov, with whom he had multiple connections. G. Musrepov’s mother was S. Mukanov’s godmother; they were in-laws (Mukanov’s son Arystan married Musrepov’s elder daughter Engelina); they lived in neighboring villages and studied together.
His last months he spent writing at the high desk.
On 28 December 2017, Alzhapar Abishev and Mukhtar Shakhanov wrote his last letter exactly as told. In three days, on 31 December 1985, at the age of 70 he died.
Photo: the author
“Black Square” and “The White Sun of the Desert” by Y. Tursunov
Kazakh film director and writer Yermek Tursunov wrote the book “Melochi zhizni” ("Little things in life") divided into seven sections, and published it in 2016. And one of the sections called “Snimaetsya kino” (“Movie is shot”) comprises one of the brightest tales that is “Black Square” and “The White Sun of the Desert”. It tells about different perception of Kazemir Malevich’s famous painting by people and the story connected with the creation of Vladimir Motyl’s film.
The abovementioned tale in turn is divided into two parts. The first one is about the “Black Square” by Malevich and its understanding by people. There is even categorization of them on types and gender. And each category has their tastes and peculiarities.
And, in fact, there are two categories of people: some understand Malevich and some do not.
And those, who do not understand, become Yermek Tursunov’s friends. And those, who understand can not be his enemies, of course, but the author can not communicate with them in a normal way.
Thus, Malevich turns out to be an instrument by which it is possible to define the inner state of a person. And that does not mean that Malevich adherents are all fools. On the contrary, they usually “injure” Y. Tursunov with their intellect. Because in order to understand Malevich and those who are on the same wavelength with him it is necessary to read lots of clever books or listen to a load of art experts and psychoanalysts. And the author does not believe in all those artists whom it is impossible to understand without extra comments or explanations. Once you take out all those extra words you are alone vis-à-vis with the “Black Square”, and feel an idiot. But the author does not like when someone pokes into his “darkness” (or the lack of knowledge), and he is not able to appear to be smart.
Vladimir Motyl, one of the Soviet and Russian masters, film directors and script writers, did not accept Kazemir Malevich. He said that in art he did not like artificiality more than everything.
As for the gradation of people on Malevich it is as follows, according to Tursunov.
He noticed that those who are for Malevich are mannered, follow fashion, wear long scarves with fringe in the autumn and the spring, eat vegetables and fruits, meat – seldom, from hot meals – sushi, for desert – something like parfait “Grand Marne”, drink mineral water Bling H2O or absent after, hold a fork in the left hand and a wine glass by the leg. In the coffee houses they drink coffee.
They read Joyce and watch Tarkovsky with Pazolini, adore Andy Warhol, and consider Schwarzenegger a scum. More than that, they wave their hands while conversing and kiss each other on the cheek at the time of meeting. They are astonished and pronounce “Wow!” when they come across with the reproduction of the “Black Square”, stay motionless and in the admiration.
They greet each other in a sweeping manner, laugh out loud, and while saying each other good buy can kick in the arse. When they see something extraordinary they shout “Oh, Gosh!” and pass by when they bump into the “Black Square” even not guessing that it is the painting. Truly, they think that it is the gable window covered with plywood sheet.
Concerning gender issues there are also many differences.
Women, who are for Malevich are well-groomed and let do hair-cuts only to their own masters, do manicure once a week, buy clothes in expensive shops or order from a famous couturier. They recite Akhmadulina and attend ballets, are born and brought up, as a rule, in the well-off families.
Those women, who are against Malevich cut hair as a butch, make manicure at home, buy clothes at the market, and wash their heads together with the rest of the body. They read the magazine “Liza”, sing Pugacheva with Allegrova in karaoke bars, by origin they are obliged to hegemon, and by upbringing to the pensioner Katya being their neighbor.
Men for Malevich are apt to depression and excentric behavior, their legs are even or knock-kneed. They are not groomed, often hungry and are not popular among women. They marry just for a show. They spend free time in summer cafes and fashionable parties, in conversations are as talkative as women. They prefer reasonable dialogue to rude physical fortitude. They think that Tyson is a breed of dogs or the island in Vietnam. They nibble and sip.
Men against Malevich watch football and support “Barcelona”, and they despise the model-like Ronaldo and prefer more Messi. By the age of thirty they have beer bellies and numerous kids. They cheat their women once a week, but spend nights always at their houses. They are strong economic men and bring everything home, but each of them has hidden stash of cash.
They like to gather with other men, go to the bath houses and drink beer, tell the jolly anecdotes, solve all their problems exceptionally with the help of fists, talk with full mouth and drink at once. And they sincerely think that Lagerfeld is the concentration camp in Poland.
And so on and so forth, from only that gradation one can be surprised how humans differ from each other.
One of the interesting persons is Razok Burkhonov, future director-documentalist who arrived in Moscow from Dushanbe. He was a calm fellow with expressive Persian eyes and he saw the world with unveiled sadness and discontent. He seemed to live on thin air. For instance, it seemed that he never smiled, chewed or smiled.
And, namely, he was fully for Malevich, and he did not only accept and understand him, but also he drowned and lived in him.
The reproduction of the “Black Square” hang over his bed. He often was in the frozen pose in front of the painting as if being in nirvana. By coming to him the author felt as if he disturbed his nirvana, but there was no way to go. Razok always had something to borrow, for instance, bread.
And that did not mean that he protested and cast the challenge to the world. He simply was in tune with Malevich.
Once, it happened that Vladimir Motyl did lecturing on the film “The White Sun of the Desert”, that he directed – the first Soviet blockbuster, shot in the best traditions of the romantic western with outstanding actors playing main roles.
He told how he shot it, with what difficulties he came across at various stages of the preparation, gave curious facts that always accompany the process of the film creation. His voice was not loud, a bit cracked and balanced.
Students were told about 18 months of film shooting in Karakums. It was the desert, that by the period of shooting was blooming, and, as a matter of fact, it happened once in a hundred years' time.
And the film was cancelled by the State Cinema Committee twice. The first time, they decided to change the director, the second time they did not like the scenes such as the eating black caviar with spoons by the customer at the shore. It seemed unreal.
So, the whole destiny of the film starting with the shooting and finishing with the release was not simple. But, in two years, Leonid Brezhnev, the third General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and twice Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, accepted it. And, all of a sudden, the film turned into legend. It became the talisman of the cosmonauts and customers. It was seen by millions. Indeed, it is the film of which even the time was afraid.
Apart from story about the film, in the middle of the lecture about that legendary film the mentioned Razok silently stood up and headed for go out. Motyl was sitting as if he did not notice that. But coming closer to the door Motyl asked whether the lecture was uninteresting and the reply was “Yes”.
“Well. You may go. But, take into consideration, that you have to return being minimum the genius”, said Motyl.
All the students feeling relief after pressure being in the air laughed out loud and applauded after Motyl’s remark.
Maybe, after all, that was the reason why Yermek Tursunov did not like and did not understand Kazemir Malevich.
Thus, by the given tale the writer aimed to combine two various types of art, namely, painting and cinema. And presented it in an interesting, unusual and funniest way.
Tales of ordinary people by A. Alimzhanov
The Kazakh writer Anuar Alimzhanov wrote not only a number of well-known novels, but also many tales about the life of ordinary Kazakh people and their struggle for freedom and independence in the past. Also, he is the one of not many authors who expressed high interest in Africa and its problems. The writer became concerned about Africans and their life not in vain, the dream of liberating themselves from the English oppression was similar to the dream of Kazakhs to be free from the Tsarist rule.
This article represents two different and at the same time similar (both of them tell about the simple people) tales: one is about the life on Kazakh land, and the other – African one.
The tale of the life in the Kazakh desert is “The Last Madamar”. And it is about the chaban (“sheepherder”) called Madamar who was a famous well-digger, the master of finding the water in the endless spaces of the desert and truly believed in the existence of the sea under the sands of the desert.
The story starts with the hard situation occurred in the settlement: the inhabitants were running out of provision and water. The girl named Rym knew the surroundings perfectly, so, she became the guide of her people in search of water.
Her true friends and advisers in tending sheep were the old and wise man Shabdan and the less experienced fellow Fazyl. By the way, in certain time she fell in love with a young communicative, open and confident chaban Fazyl and soon they got married.
One day, Rym asked who Madamar was when Shabdan mentioned his name in his speech. To Rym’s surprise, he became offended because everyone had to know about Madamar.
After a while, Rym knew from Fazyl that Madamar was a close and not sociable person who knew well the desert and the places where flew water. He put the ear close to the desert and could hear the noise of water, where he dug the deep well. His son was Madamar. And the son of his son was also Madamar.
And the last, already aging Madamar had no descendants left behind him. Once, when he knew about the death of Shabdan he went far away to the desert to find Shabdan’s sheep and take of care of them. But before that he managed to help the geologists find the place full of water in the desert. Thus, even before leaving forever, Madamar fulfilled the good deed as he was wise and kind-hearted.
The work depicts the life of ancient Kazakhs who lived in the deserts. So, people had to survive and not many could develop the skill of finding the appropriate place for digging wells, the source of life for the dwellers of the steppe.
Anuar Alimzhanov in a mastery manner describes the unique ability of the man to find water in the whole desert. At the same time, the author shows the wideness and generosity of the man. He silently, moderately and without any expectations for the praise and gratitude works for the good of the people. And he is great in his nature, he is legendary Madamar.
The other tale – “Blazing Spear” is about another great man but from Kenya in Africa. The African topic was always attractive to Alimzhanov because such problems of Africans as poverty, hunger and stagnation were close to the Kazakh people back in the day.
They say that a person lives for three days and the humanity – eternity. The first day – all that was long ago, the second – those days that go to eternity since now and the third one – the future. Fantasy authors write about the future and the rest – about the past. And the given tale is about the past of one of the sons of African tribe of kikuyu.
He returned to his motherland after a long exile. On one of the spring and hot days the mighty old man ascended the hill near Nairobi and declared that he returned. After that event all the world newspapers published news that the storm was approaching Kenya because the old man came back. In fact, he believed in freedom of Africa and victory of the human.
The white people, namely, the English men or the sons of the Albion were the real plague for Kenyans notwithstanding the fact that the latter ones fought for England the same way the Senegal people fought for France.
He had a black face and white beard, a negro in origin and an American in citizenship. And his grandfather was a slave. His name was William Dubua and he was known all over the world. That day, he told the story of one brave Kenyan who, in fact, had three names. At first, he was called Kaman Va Ngengi (“foundling” in African dialect) as he was found on the land and lost his parents just on the first day of his birth. But, it was hard to call him an orphan as he was loved by his whole village and was cared by the old hunter till the white people killed the hunter who defended the young girl from the rape.
After that case Kaman Va Ngengi was sent to Mio Crooked Tooth who then sold the boy to the lazy and thick English colonist. The new master liked a quick and diligent boy, called him John and sent him to the missionary school to learn English.
But after a while John started to do his job badly (the reason was reading books that took most of his time) and was kicked out.
Anyway, he managed to finish his school and wrote lots of letters about sufferings of kikuyu. At the same time he worked a lot and each shilling was used for buying needy books. He learned the history of Africa thoroughly and was searching the facts of the unity of the roots of the ancient culture of Asia and Africa. Little by little, workers started to respect a hard-working, kind and wise boy and called him Jomo. It was his third name.
Jomo created the first secret political organization, founded the newspaper defending the interests of Kenyans and put the pseudonym “Glowing spear” under his articles. He spread his articles all over Africa, travelled and organized the strikes and meetings.
On 15 March 1922 all his activity was cancelled by the government, but Jomo was persistent.
One day, Jomo made up his mind to move to London in order to know the students of Kenya better and started to teach African phonetics at the college. Also, he found like-minded people among Kenyan students and convinced them to come to Africa and teach children and adults secretly.
After some time, Jomo was accused for his active deeds against the English government and sent into exile up to the old age.
Later, he was released. There were many reasons for that and some of them were the following. On 26 September 1959 was conducted the Day of fight for freedom of Jomo Keniata and, moreover, he had multiple supporters. Also, at last, his land got independence, long-awaiting independence from England, for which so much blood and so many tears were shed.
The Kazakh writer and publicist Anuar Alimzhanov wrote his tales in a simple and interesting way.
One can read his works in the same breath as his tales grasp reader’s attention and hold it till the end, and do not give the chance to get bored. To add, the stories of the author comprise historic, cultural and geographic data which allow the reader to understand the plot and happenings better and represent the picture in a more vivid and colorful way.
People and labour in Anuar Alimzhanov’s works
Anuar Turlybekovich Alimzhanov is a well-known Kazakh and Soviet prosaic, writer, publicist and social activist.
He was born on 12 May, 1930 in the aul of Karlygash located near Dzhungar mountains. He became an orphan at the early age and was educated in the orphanage. Then, he graduated from the Faculty of Journalism at Kazakh State University in Almaty and worked in the “Literary newspaper” as a correspondent (Middle Asia and Kazakhstan).
Later, he was an Editor-in-Chief at the “Kazakhfilm” studio, a correspondent at “Pravda”, Editor-in-Chief at the newspaper “Kazakh adebieti”.
Since 1970 he was the First Secretary of the Writers’ Union of Kazakhstan. From 1981 to 1991 he was in charge of the Kazakh Agency for Copyright Protection and the president of the Association of Commercial Television and Radio of the Kazakh SSR.
After the first experience in the historic prose, namely, the tale “Suvenir iz Otrara” (“Souvenir from Otrar”, 1966), Anuar Alimzhanov appeals to the huge genre form. One by one come out his historic novels, arranging the whole cycle of the stories about the fate of the Kazakh people a thousand years ago.
Among them the historic works imaging the life of the Kazakhs in early XIX century - “Strela Makhambeta” (“Makhambet’s arrow”, 1969), early XVIII century – “Gonets” (“Rider”, 1974) about the period of time when Kazakhstan started the close association with Russian people, and X century – “Vozvrashenie uchitelya” (“The teachers’ return”, 1979). The last novel in the cycle stood to be “Doroga lyudey” (“People’s way”, 1984) where the author tried to combine the past, present and future.
Working on the novel about Makhambet, Anuar Alimzhanov referred to the oral tales among Kazakh people. Court lifestyle near the khan, trip to Petersburg, initiation to the ideas of December movement, break-up with the khan, participation of Isatay Taimanov (the head of the national liberation movement in West Kazakhstan region in 1836-38 yy.), its defeat – all are deeply depicted by the author.
The same can be said about his tales, where he in a talented way tells about the life of simple and poor people not only of Kazakhstan, but also Africa in which he was quite interested.
A. Alimzhanov’s works are given high estimation in the whole world. They were translated into the languages of the people of the CIS and foreign countries. Among Afro-Asian writers Anuar Alimzhanov was one of the first ones to be honored the “International award of the People’s Republic of Kongo for the fortification of the friendship among the people of Asia and Africa and active contribution in the fight for their independence”. For a number of works on the themes of India in 1969 Anuar Alimzhanov was awarded the prize named after Dzhavakhrlala Neru. He was also awarded the orders of the Friendship of people, “Honor Badge” and medals. Anuar Alimzhanov died on 9 November 1993.
One of his tales about which will be written more in detail is “Povest o pakhare” (“Tale of plougher”). It is rather short and chosen for the description not in vain as not much written about shorter tales of Anuar Alimzhanov.
The tale is about an outstanding hard-working plougher Ibray-aga being in love with his lifework.
Even he was called (in fact, was) the high performer, lead worker in his field (he specialized in rice growing), innovator he always stayed himself, did not differ from his friends-shepherds of the Aral Sea region. Ibray-aga was squatty, indifferent to the praises, all the clamor and fuss around him. He liked listening to his conversants carefully weighing each word of theirs, but couldn’t stand too talkative people.
He was asked of the secret of growing such big harvest. But he had no secrets. Actually, there was the work, conscientious hard word.
Many years passed since the time he had started to deal with rice growing. He was born on the bank of Syrdaria river and had never left his aul (Kazakh village). He defended his aul in the years of the Civil war. Only once he left his native land for half a year when there was severe hunger during which he managed to save some handfuls of white rice. He saved them for the whole winter and in the spring he planted rice. Since that time his home folks had always had a cup of rice – both in the years of war and peace, in the dry and moist days.
Notwithstanding the fact that he had never left his aul, his fields he was known at the motherland of rice – Burma and Korea, China and India.
Newspapers often (during thirty-five years) wrote about his methods and system. But he himself didn’t pronounce such words as “my method” and “my system”. He asked for advice only from his land, he listened to its breath and applied in his work what was tested, tried and proved with results for tens of years.
He had his own world full with deep thoughts and searches, disappointments and joys, however, he unchangingly stayed calm. Thus, some people thought he was a weird man although it was not like that. And he had a son whom he loved a lot and who was already a grown-up and fought at war. His son was his hope in life whom he saw as the successor of his work. He had trained his son since early years of his life and taught him how to feel the land and how to grow rice in the fields.
But, one day he heard the song of lamentation, it was weeped by his wife. His son, his only son died at war… That night he couldn’t sleep; he didn’t want to believe in that death. He worked hard on the field all night without having a rest and only by the sunrise with bleeding hands, shivering with cold and being ready to drop he slowly went home. It seemed as if the gigantic machine or the army of dzhigits (Kazakh fellows) toiled at the field, that was even and without any bushes and stumps. People were struck with the sight and since that day he had became not Ibray-aga, but Ibray-ata (elder, highly respected man is called “ata”).
The following autumn he collected his first harvest from that field. And it became the sensation for all the rice growers – 172 centner from a ha!
He was a plougher, communist, and a revolutionary who conquered and commanded his fields.
Aging, he gave out his ketmen and reaping hook as the symbol of labour and life to young ploughers, and further to the museum.
After giving up rice growing he never gave up coming to the banks of the river and delighted the sunrise and sunset, saw the work of the young and sometimes grieved or smiled looking at the new sprouts.
His words were, “Heroism is won by life, and fame by labour and talent”. And he wrote the the only one book in his life about his work and friends but stayed modest.
Indeed, he was loved, respected and appreciated by his nobility and huge work.
Anuar Alimzhanov sees things in people’s characters and describes their feelings in a skillful way. He is also good at the presentation of nature, situations and conversations. The reader pictures the story vividly and feels the mood of characters.
The author was one of not many having so many versatile talents and abilities, and at the same time staying so moderate and delicate.