Tajikistan Literature

By | October 13, 2021

According to localtimezone, Tajikistan literature emerged as national literature from Persian literature. New Persian experienced its first literary heyday in Bukhara in the 10th and 11th centuries and was a dominant language of science, religion and literature in the cultural centers of Central Asia (today’s Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) until the early 20th century. When the Republic of Tajikistan came into being in the early Soviet period with the nation-state reorganization of Central Asia in 1924, the term “Tajik” was chosen to denote a new national language to be created from a language planning perspective. The Tajik literature created in this language was an integral part of Soviet literature and oriented itself in terms of content and aesthetics, M. Gorki and W. Mayakovsky. Multiple correspondence (Latin: 1930, Cyrillic: 1940) favored the isolation from literary developments in other parts of the Persian-speaking world.

Immediate forerunners of early Tajik literature were the works of Islamic enlightenmentists from pre-Soviet times, who in the 19th century had a prominent representative in Ahmad Donisch Kalla (* 1827, † 1897) and were known in Bukhara and Turkestan in the early 20th century as the Jadids became.

Abdurrauf Fitrat (* 1886, † 1937) from Bukhara, with his time-critical works (»Der Disput«, 1909; »Report of an Indian Traveler«, 1911/12) must be considered the actual founder of modern Tajik prose literature, although he was in the 1930s -Years fell into political disgrace and was ousted from official literary historiography. The father of modern Tajik literature is now considered to be S. Aini, who also comes from near Bukhara. With a socio-historical trilogy, to which the story “Odina” (1924) as well as the novels “Der Landtölpel” (1930) and “Die Sklaven” (1934) belong, he became the leading Tajik prose writer of his time. His work can be considered a realization of the 1934 by Gorky doctrine raised by socialist realism. The »Memories« (1948–55; German), translated into many languages, describe the life of simple people in pre-revolutionary times with sober realism and sometimes satirical, and are considered an unsurpassed masterpiece of Tajik storytelling. His pupil Djalol Ikromi (* 1909, † 1993), who also dealt with revolutionary change in his autobiographical work “Our Youthful Morning” (1954) as well as in short stories and dramas, represents a new generation of young Tajik prose writers.

In poetry, after the revolution, Pairaw Sulaimoni (* 1899, † 1933) drew attention to himself with an innovative style. The Iranian-born poet Abulqosim Lohuti (* 1887, † 1957) also celebrated the revolution in his poems and epics, but based on models from classical Persian literature such as the Kasside (»Kremlin«, 1923). Thematic references to the classical legacy had been forbidden since the 1930s and could only be taken up again in later Soviet times. The most extensive lyric work was left by Mirzo Tursunzoda (* 1911, † 1977) who headed the Tajik Writers’ Union for many years and, in addition to love poetry v. a. Wrote works on the anti-colonial liberation struggle in the Third World and the socialist construction of Tajikistan. The Great Patriotic War has been a recurring theme among poets such as Mu’min Qanoat (* 1932) and prose writers such as Fotih Nijosi (* 1914, † 1991) since the 1950s.

A literary turning point began in the late 1960s. Prose writers like Fasliddin Muhammadiew (* 1928, † 1991) wrote subtle short stories with a critical contemporary reference. Sotim Ulughzoda (* 1911, † 1997) took up historical themes in his prose (»Firdausi«, 1978). Ikromi dealt with the crimes of Stalinism (“Twelve Kilometers”, 1967). The literary magazine “Maorif wa madaniyat” (“Education and Culture”) set its own linguistic and literary political accents, whose civic engagement did not always find the goodwill of cultural politicians. The passage of a language law in 1989 was accompanied by a flood of patriotic poetry that took on a melancholy character during the civil war in the early 1990s. The dominant role of poetry in Tajik literature is up to the recent past, inter alia. represented by Bozor Sobir (* 1938). Literary life today is hampered by a poorly functioning publishing and book distribution system.


Khujand [x-], Khojent [x-], 1936–91 Leninabad, old oasis city and regional capital in Tajikistan, at the exit of the Syr Darya from the Fergana Basin, (2019) 181,600 residents.

Botanical Garden of the Tajik Academy of Sciences; Commercial center; Textile (silk and cotton processing), clothing, shoe and food industries (especially fruit processing). In the Khujand oasis, cotton, fruit and silk worms are grown.

On the site of today’s Khujand, Alexander the Great founded in 329 BC. Chr. Alexandreia Eschate. Mentioned under its current name as early as the second half of the 7th century. Due to its location on the Great Silk Road, the city developed into an important trading center. In 1866 it came to the Russian Empire and was incorporated into the newly founded Tajik Soviet Republic in 1929. During the 1960s, Khujand became an industrial and service center. In 1991 a medrese opened. The regional elites of Khujand are one of the most influential political forces in the country.


Kurgan-Tjube, Tajik Qurghonteppa, regional capital in Tajikistan (Chatlon region), in the valley of the Wachsch, (2019) 110 800 residents.

Cotton processing, food industry.

Tajikistan Literature