Looking Back at the Literary Heritage: Tatar Writers and Intellectuals and Their Predecessors
(63rd Annual Meeting Ulaanbaatar, 2021)
Since approximately the late 1980s Tatar intellectuals in the Russian Republic of Tatarstan increasingly develop their cultural, social and political ideas by referring to Tatar literature at the turn of the 20th century: allusions to lines from poems penned by classical authors like Gabdulla Tuqay, Därdemänd and others have become commonplace, and one of the common features of contemporary literary criticism is the attempt to place present-day authors into an older literary tradition, thus connecting two epochs that seem not have much in common. In short, we could say that reference to the literary tradition might be regarded as omnipresent in Tatar intellectual life.
The present talk will try to give a general assessment of these tendencies, presenting not only the general lines of this tendency, but both offering a explanation for the quite rise in importance of the literary tradition and developing a classification of the most important ways to refer to the Tatar past.