By Vugar Khalilov
The truth that Javid relied on had only one meaning: to see his people, his nation free and happy, and his homeland among civilized nations. In his search for this truth, Javid has faced the harsh limits and barriers of age. His artistic thought and writings are one of the priceless examples of the cultural history of Azerbaijan.
October 24 marks the 140th birthday of the eminent poet and playwright Huseyn Javid. A variety of activities are organized across the country to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the famous thinker, poet and playwright – one of the brightest representatives of Azerbaijani literature.
Huseyn Abdulla oglu Rasizada was born on October 24, 1882 in Nakhchivan. Huseyn inherited the affection for literature from his father, who was well versed in music and mugham and was noted for his soft voice.
He began his studies at the religious school and later continued his studies at the Russian-Tatar school in Nakhichevan, the Madrasa Tabriz Talibiya and the University of Istanbul.
After returning from Istanbul, Javid worked as a teacher in Nakhchivan, Baku, Ganja, Tbilisi, and also engaged in literary creativity. Her first books “Mother” and “Past Days” were published in Tbilisi. Following the genocide of Azerbaijanis by Armenians in March 1918, Javid traveled to Tabriz and published a poem in Sheikh Mohammad Khiyabani’s Tajddud newspaper. He married Mishkinaz after returning to Nakhchivan.
During the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918-1920), Javid’s “Literature Lessons” written with Abdulla Shaig was one of the first steps towards forming a unified curriculum of Turkish literature.
During the early years of Soviet rule, fate seemed to test the great artist; the poet suffered personal tragedies as well as economic hardship. He sold the books in his library and the items in his wardrobe out of desperation. Literary critics have characterized this period in Javid’s writings as an ideological turmoil and crisis. However, he managed to compose his masterpieces – the poems “Prophet” and “Topal Teymur” during this period.
Javid pioneered philosophical lyricism in national poetry, ushering in a new era of Azerbaijani acting with his verse tragedies and historical dramas. His work was closely linked to the history of Eastern aesthetic ideas and global romantic traditions.
The genius poet’s rich legacy includes a series of poems, such as “Past Days”, “Spring Dews”, “Azer”, “Mother”, “Sheikh Sanan”, “Iblis” (Devil), “Sheyda”, ” Abyss”, the dramas “Afat”, “Prophet”, “Topal Teymur”, “Knyaz”, “Sayavush”, “Khayyam”, “Devil’s Revenge”, as well as articles and letters reflecting his literary, scientific and social opinions.
The great artist, who introduced Pan-Turkist ideology into Azerbaijani literature, spoke about the importance of maintaining the fighting spirit of the nation in the poem “Sea Performance” (1912).
The poet’s writings, which shed light on universal issues from a humanist perspective, are still relevant today.
His poems exemplify the genius artist, who truly felt the challenges of the day and perceived with a poet’s heart that conflict, war and other horrific events would dominate thoughts for many years to come.
Huseyn Javid was imprisoned in 1938 and accused of maintaining counter-revolutionary links, of being involved in defamatory discussions with representatives of the old regime, of gathering and educating around him young poets rooted in the convictions nationalists.
On June 9, 1939, the poet was sentenced to eight years in a labor camp. He died in the Taishet district of the Irkutsk region (Russia), in 1941. However, the poet was acquitted after his death on March 6, 1956.
Bringing the remains of Huseyn Javid from Siberia to Azerbaijan on the 100th anniversary of his birth was a sign of immense love and respect for the mighty master of words. Thanks to this bold action, not only the mind of the great artist but also the hearts of millions of people who loved him found peace.
Javid’s works were inspired by an idea that is still relevant and meaningful today. The philosophical ideas of his writings raise the poet to a higher level than his contemporaries. Huseyn Javid’s legacy will live as long as the Azerbaijani people and history, and his works represent the nation’s national asset.
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