HUSEYN JAVID’S LIFE AND CREATIVE WORKS
A philosophical poet, great playwright Huseyn Javid is one the most prominent artists of the romanticism movement in the history of Azerbaijani literature.
Life. Huseyn Abdulla oglu Rasizadeh was born on October 24, 1882 to a family of a theologian in Nakhchivan – one of Azerbaijan’s ancient scientific and artistic, cultural centers. Upon receiving the primary education from his father, Huseyn pursued his education in the Moslem religious school and Maktab-i Tarbiya of Mahammadtaghi Sidgi, a prominent enlightened intellectual and talented educator in 1896-1898, then studied in the Talibiyya Madrasah in Tabriz that was considered one of teaching centers of the region. Huseyn wrote his first poetry at that time, he was characterized as a great poet of the future by his teachers and literal and cultural environment. In 1906-1908 studying in Literature at Istanbul University in Turkey, Huseyn Rasizadeh participated in the poetry competition with his poetic work “Varamli Giz” (Tuberculous Girl) and received an award.
In 1909 he chose a pen name “Javid” and then he and his family were known by this surname. Huseyn Javid came back to Azerbaijan in 1910 and worked as a teacher in Ganja Theological Seminary and Tbilisi “Aliyev Ucheniye” School for a while.
In 1915 H.Javid moved to Baku, worked as a teacher in “Safa” School and selected a member to “Literature Committee” there. When Armenian gangs of bandits committed genocide of Turks in Baku in 1918, Huseyn Javid went to Tabriz and then Nakhchivan – his homeland, worked as a teacher there in “Rushdiyya” School and married his future wife Mishkinaz khanim. After this marriage their son Ertoghrul was born in 1919 and their daughter Turan was born in 1923.
Upon the establishment of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918-1920), moving to Baku again in 1919 H.Javid taught Literature in preparation courses and Sharia in the School for Girls for a while. He was selected a member of the Board at the meeting of the Teachers Union on May, 1919 and also selected to the Management at the Azerbaijan Teachers Conference on July of the same year.
H.Javid spent the last seven years of his life in Baku Teachers Seminary – Darulmuallimin (school for boys) and he was also known as a talented teacher.
H.Javid acted as a member of the Committee developing the Charter of the company at the general assembly of “Yashil Galam” (Green Pen) association on March, 1920, the Repertoire Committee of “Tangid-tabligh” (Criticism-Propaganda) Theatre on August, 1921, the organizing committee of Azerbaijani writers, literati and poets in the summer of 1923 and the Board of Management of Azerbaijani Literati and Poets Association organized a few month later.
In 1924 the 16th school for girls of II degree in Baku was named after H.Javid.
On February, 1925 H.Javid participated in the All-Union Turkological Congress I in Baku. H.Javid was sent to Berlin on June-October of 1926 and came back from there with great literary-artistic, philosophical-social, cultural and moral impression. In 1927 it was resolved to confer the honorary title to H.Javid for his long term services in the development of Azerbaijani Literature by the Decision of the Council of People's Commissars.
In 1929 Javid closely participated at the conference of the New Alphabet Committee and at a literary and artistic event jointly organized with Georgian writers in Baku. On July of that year, he was selected a member of the organizing committee of the Transcaucasian Union of Council Writers and Artists and he visited Georgia accompanied by council writers.
H.Javid closely participated at the plenum I of the organizing committee of Azerbaijan Council Writers Association in 1933 and in actions of the Admission Committee of Azerbaijan Council Writers Association, at the meeting Transcaucasian of playwrights in Baku on December, 1935 and Azerbaijani poetry and drama days in Moscow, Leningrad and Minsk in 1936. In the same year his play “Khayyam” was awarded in the literary works competition.
1937 also left black marks in the destiny of Huseyn Javid as many outstanding intellectuals of Azerbaijan. On June 3 of the same year, Javid was charged of being a nationalist and the next day this great poet and playwright was arrested. After living in Keshla and Bayil prisons in poor prison conditions for two years, Javid was arrested for 8 years due to his involvement in the anti-Soviet propaganda on July 4, 1939 and exiled to Siberia. Upon moral and psychological pressures for many years, the poet with impaired health died on December 5, 1941 in the village of Shevchenko, Tayshetsky District, Irkutsk.
On March 6, 1956 Huseyn Javid was officially exonerated on March 6, 1956 by the judgment of Azerbaijan SSR Supreme Court, the writer’s remains were moved from Siberia to Baku at the initiative of the Great Leader Heydar Aliyev on his 100th birthday on October 26, 1982 and reburied in Nakhchivan on November 3 of the same year. In 1996 a mausoleum was built on Huseyn Javid’s tomb.
Creative works. H.Javid came to the literature with poetry and continued to write poetic works all his life. Even his first writing experiences showed that he would be a talented poet. Starting to write his creative as a poet and publicist, Huseyn Rasizadeh introduced his first published works in 1904 to readers in the newspaper “Shargi-Rus”. The letter written by him for the death of his favorite teacher Mahammadtaghi Sidgi from Urmia was published in the January 23 issue of the newspaper. After this, the young writer consistently acted in several press agencies such as “Hayat”, “Irshad”, “Taraggi”, “Hagigat”, “Igbal”, “Achig Soz”. Huseyn Javid started his dramaturgical works in 1910 with the play “Ana” (Mother). This work was published in 1913 in Tbilisi. Although the subject of the play was derived from a medieval Italian novella, Javid adapted it to the national thinking, Azerbaijani-Turkic mentality and created an original work.
In 1913 H.Javid’s several poems of were published under the title of “Kechmish Gunlar” (The Past Days) in Tbilisi. This little book consisting of only 24 pages included lyrical, romantic and social poetry written by him in 1905-1913. H.Javid obviously demonstrated contradictions between the individual dreams and the society’s demands in these poems.
H.Javids poems written in 1905-1917 expressing his concerns about the problems of human destiny and care about his nation’s past, present and future were collected in the second book titled “Bahar Shabnamlari” (Spring Dew).
Huseyn Javid whose poems were published in Turkey’s press even in 1906-1908 while studying in Literary at Istanbul University, was also well-known in the literary environment of the brother country.
The poet’s first works such as “Hubuti-Adam” (Fallen Adam), “Yadi-mazi (Remembering the Past) included in the poetic collection titled “Kechmish Gunlar” are distinguished for their didactic content, the idealization of the past.
H.Javid saw the way of humans’ salvation in the adoration to women, women beauty, women love. His poem “Benim Tanrim” (My God) is characterized in this regard.
H.Javid’s career is characterized by further improvement of dramatic genre in 1912-1918. The subject of “Maral” (Deer) (1912) reflected the tragedy of Azerbaijani women.
“Sheikh Sanan” (1914) – is considered Huseyn Javid’s first successful tragedy. It was consistently performed in Azerbaijan’s theatres since its writing, went through a glorious scene path, and gained the great sympathy and love of audience.
H.Javid criticized religious figures who denied the secular love by Sheikh Sanan and Khumar used by him as symbolic characters in this work and stood by the promotion of human love interpreted by the nature as a call to beauty, holiness.
H.Javid switched from universal global subjects to more definite, local subjects and brought real humans and facts that he observed around to the scene in his tragedy “Sheyda” completed by him in 1917.
Events take place in not a certain local place, but in a symbolic chronotope in the tragedy “Iblis” (The Devil) written by H.Javid in 1918.This creative work that is against unfair wars, warmongers helps to understand Huseyn Javid’s thoughts as a philosopher and humanist man in a large scale.
In 1921-1923 H.Javid’s plays were performed on stages of various countries successfully and the prominent Azerbaijani composer Muslum Magomayev wrote the opera “Iblis” based on H.Javid’s tragedy of the same name.
The narrative poetry “Azar” started in 1923, however not completed reflects individual scenes from Azerbaijan and Europe, our people’s life. “Azar” is a lyrical-epic and philosophical poetry. The poet articulated problems concerning him all his life in this original structured poetry in a literary way.
While some parts of “Azar” give the effect of a lyric poem, other parts give the effect of epic poem, as well as verse dram elements can be seen in some parts of it.
In 1924 the writer’s drama “Peyghambar” (The Prophet) was published. In the same year the tragedy “Iblis” was firstly published as a book and introduced to readers.
In 1925 H.Javid wrote “Topal Teymur” (Timur the Lame) whose aesthetic and objective-philosophical nature is full of protest and irony against modern tyrants, this work was published in 1926 and staged in the Azerbaijan Academic Theater.
The writer’s tragedy “Sheikh Sanan” was staged in the Tabriz Theater in 1928 and his play “Knyaz” (The Prince) was firstly staged in the Tbilisi State Red Army Theater in 1930.
H.Javid wrote the play “Telli Saz” (String Saz) telling about the destiny of children of the Motherland from both the South and the North, the tragedy “Sayavush” dedicated to the 100th birthday of the great Iranian poet Abulgasim Firdovsi and plays “Shahla”, “Iblisin Intigami” (The Devil’s Revenge) and Khayyam in 1930-1937.
The playwright’s work “Sayavush” was published by “Azernashr” in 1934 and staged in the Azerbaijan State Theater. Rich and diverse creative works of Huseyn Javid – a prominent representative of Azerbaijan’s romantic literature of the XX century are still liked, read and continue to hold their place in the world literature treasure and maintain their artistic importance.
It is no coincidence that the research and promotion of Huseyn Javid’s creative works is an integral part of Azerbaijan’s cultural policy. As mentioned, the Great Leader Heydar Aliyev achieved to move Javid’s remains from Siberia to Baku in 1982. However, he didn’t deny his moral protection over the writer and exonerated him for the second time. Then creation of Javid’s House Museums in Nakhchivan and Baku, erection of the mausoleum, publication of the collection, arrangement of his 100 and 120th birthday ceremonies were initiated by the Great Leader Heydar Aliyev.
Also, during the rule of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev - Heydar Aliyev’s farsighted and wise successor like himself - Huseyn Javid’s name is glorified, the writer’s memory is always honored with great respect and appreciation and Javid’s creative works are promoted at a national level. According to the Order dated January 12, 2004 by Mr. President Ilham Aliyev on “Publishing of mass media in Azerbaijani with Latin scripts”, Huseyn Javid’s works were published in Latin alphabet in 5 volumes.
According to relevant orders of Mr. President Ilham Aliyev, Huseyn Javid’s 125, 130 and 135th birthdays were celebrated at a high level, Huseyn Javid’s most creative works were published in Azerbaijani and many foreign languages by his House Mausoleum in Baku; The research collection “Javidshunaslig” (Javid Studies) in 30 volumes consisting of materials about Huseyn Javid’s life and creative works was created, books telling about lives and creative works of Ertoghrul and Turan Javids were published, etc.