S U M M A R Y
Periods Azerbaijan literature
Classic Azerbaijan literature
“Dada Gorgud’ epose
XII century Azerbaijan literature
The literature of the middle ages ( Fuzuli, Khatai and others.)
Historical chronology of Azerbaijan literature by academician Isa Habbibeyli:
1.Ancient Azerbaijani literature: Mythology and epic period
2.Common beginning period of Azerbaijan written literature (VII-X centuries)
3.Renaissance Azerbaijani literature (XI-XII centuries).
4.Medieval Azerbaijani literature (XIII-XVI centuries).
5.Early realism period Azerbaijani literature (XVII-XVIII centuries).
6.Enlightenment realism period of Azerbaijani literature (XIX century);
7.The epoch of critical realism and romanticism in Azerbaijani literature (from the nineties of the XIX century to the Soviet government in Azerbaijan).
8.Azerbaijani literature of the Soviet period (1920-1991).9.The stage of return to national self-consciousness and the transition period Azerbaijani literature (1970-1995).
10.Multi-method Azerbaijani literature of the independence period.
THE ANCIENT LITERATURE
Theoldestsample of writtenliterature of Azerbaijanis’Avesta’, appearedinthe VI centuryb.c. intheterritory of Midiya, theauthor of whichwasZardusht (Zoroaster). Dualist worldoutlook of Azerbaijanpeople, theideas of a primitive man aboutthestrugglebetweenthegood and the bad foundheretheirliteraryreflection.
The ideas of old people about the good and the bad powers controlling the world and the society found their literary-figurative reflection in ‘Avesta’, written in the form of addresses of Zardusht to the head of good powers Ahura Mazda (Hormuzd). ‘Gatlar’ (‘Layers’), the most beautiful literary part of ‘Avesta’, reflect philosophical-moral ideas of Zardusht about human being and the society, nature and an individual. We have not received ‘Avesta’ in its primary, i.e. full form. This work was burned by Alexander from Makedonia in the IV century and only separate arts of it had remained in the memories of priests of Zoroastrianism, gathered together and translated to pahlavi language. The major features of the mythological world outlook of Azerbaijan people found their reflection in ‘Avesta’ and reached our times. Mythological motives about the creation of the world, the first man, ‘golden period’ of the society, the first fault and anger of the God and punishing of people with trouble, disease, disaster are widely-extended elements of world mythology.
The poems of Azerbaijan poets Abu Muhammed ibn Bashar, Musa Shahavat and Ismail ibn Yesar, lived and created in Madina and Mekka, the centres of Islam Khilafatin VII-VIII centuries, differs from that time Arabic poetry for its struggling critical spirit, original artistic peculiarities. This fact was also approved by specialists. The tradition of writing literary works in the Arabic language continued till XI-XII centuries, Khatib Tabrizi, Masud ibn Namdar creates the works in this language, thus enriched the literature of Azerbaijan. Khatib Tabrizi, the great philologist of his time, had a great contribution to the study of literature. His work ‘Sherhul-Hemase’ remains its authority among orientalists and literary critics for a thousand years. A lot of scientific research works are written about this work.
The second strong generation of Azerbaijan in this period grows outside the palace and more and more influences the literary-cultural environment. Word creators like Nizami Ganjevi (1141-1209) form democratic branch literature of this period. They were interested in literature, poetry not for earning their living, but it was the means of ideal-literary expression of humanist and patriotic feelings coming out of the depth of the heart, the means of popularization for lightening human life, for seeing happy a human- ‘the crown’ of the created. With his unfading five poems (‘The Treasure of Secrets’, ‘Khosrov and Shirin’, ‘Leyli and Mejnun’, ‘Seven Beauties’, ‘Iskendername’) Nizami Ganjevi brought quite new poetic voice and breath to the world literature.
THE LITERATURE OF THE MIDDLE AGES
At the beginning of the XIII century in Azerbaijan literature, developed in Arabian and Persian languages under the influence of objective historical reality, we notice that poets and artists creating in their mother tongue increase in number. The ancient literature gives its turn to the beginning of the middle ages in Azerbaijan literature.
Lyrical poets like Izzeddin Hasanoglu and Sheykh Safiaddin Ardebilli mostly preferred to create worldwide poetic samples relating to the reality of the life, then lyric and epic samples with Sufi-mystic ideas created by the artists of other people. Three gazals of Hasanoglu in Turkish and one in Persian, a little divan of Sheykh Safi gives us a full description of native literature of that period and forms an idea that the future great poetry has got a strong foundation. The Sufi-mystic idea and characters weakly-defined in Hasanoglu’s gazals prove that this flow is gradually degraded. Existing poetic samples proves that he was a great poet, with a rich creative experience. They hope to find more of his poetic works.
The principles of humanism formed in literature and the social-political idea of this period reaches its pick in the creativity of Seyid Imadeddin Nasimi (1369-1417). The works of this great poet, are somewhat the next great step towards the world, humanism and democracy not only in the literature of Azerbaijan people but also that of the Near and the Middle East. Imadeddin Nasimi, after his predecessor Nizami Genjevi, is known as one of the publicists, messenger of ideas of humanism, philanthropy in our literature.
XVI-XVII centuries in Azerbaijan literature are also famous as the period of formation of middle century love and heroic eposes. In the works of Gurbani, Ashiq Abbas Tufarganli, the representatives of oral folklore we are about to see the same experience of Fuzuli in written poetry. Perfect love eposes like ‘Ashig Garib’, ‘Abbas and Gulgaz’, ‘Asli and Kerem’, heroic epos ‘Koroglu’ as the heir of ‘Kitabi-Dadam Gorgud’ are the products of this period and are added into the repertoire of folk artists. Folk poetry samples goshma, gerayli, varsagi, bayati, known to us from the time of Shah Ismail Khatai, progresses. In order to show how Azerbaijan eposes of Middle Centuries effect, it is enough to mention that the subject of ‘ Koroglu’ influenced Turkmen, Uzbek, Tajik, Armenian, Georgian folk-lore and created their own eposes.