“SHAHNAME» IN THE EYE OF AZERBAIJAN INTELLECTUALS
Iranian tradition, continued by Firdovsi relies on the God and Higher Justice. On the basis of these there are restoration of the justice and wish of enlightening people in the country. But as for Firdovsi the alternative way is the just ruler to hold the power. Of course, “Shahname” is not only Persian “Iliada” or “Odisseya”. This work is a treasure of wisdom reflecting moral values and political program in a certain form…
“Shahname”- a work of literature having been written by Firdovsi at the end of the X century AD is a non-substitutive pearl of culture from the moral point of view along with it has great literary essence. This book differs from others not only in its volume, but in its monumentality according to the historical period it belongs to also.
“Shahname” is not only a simple epos, but there are political, moral and educational facts along with fighter novels inside it. Motley of the subject and genres does not cause damage to the artistic quality of the book, because author writes in the flat language independently on the subject. It is not surprising that the book having been written in 995 AD is read in Iran and in Tajikistan now. Naturally, it must not be considered that the book is read only in its native land. Everybody, reading this work understands its importance and today’s topicality.
French orientalist Anry Masseh writes that in “Shahname” Firdovsi talks about Iranian period till Islam. In this period dynasty of four rulers- Pishdadan, Kayanis, Ashkanis and Sasanids substitute one another. Masse puts down that the first two dynasties have already turned to be a legend, but only a few names are known about the last two ones. Fifty rulers existed in the time of these dynasties that their authority times are different and often disputed. Prominent orientalist comes to that conclusion that it is incorrect to distinguish this great work of literature into separate authority times, because it consists of independent episodes and small novels. So these must be taken in unity.
It is impossible to discuss all these episodes in a short script. So we are going to give general information about some episodes only.
Let us remember the names and events connected with heroes that will live in the memory of the Iranian people forever – Jamshid shah and dragon Zahhak, the just court of brave rulers Firudun and Manuchohr, miraculous life of abondoned Zal by his father after being feeded by legendary bird of Simurgh, courageous Rustam, Sudaba`s unfortunate sacrifice Sayavush, Alexander Macedon’s, Anushiravan and his authoritative minister Bozorgmehr, great ruler Khosrov-Parviz and at last Yazdagird`s hard supremacy period ending the Sasanids’s decline.
Heroic subjects in the epos are substituted with stories about romantic love of the knights “Zal and Rubaba”, “Khosrov and Shirin” and with Zoroastr`s philosophical and religious edifications.
One of paradoxes of Firdovsi creative work is that he could combine the newly formed culture with old civilization.
R.Levi, translated “Shahname” into English has written that it is impossible to meet expressions of nature events in the same words.
Nobody will be compared with the great poet in expressing the nature panoramas. For instance, “Simurgh Tower were so high that it would touch the stars, because no men had built it”. Namely here the bird of Simurgh would feed Zal and he would suck blood instead of milk.
Firdovsi is a unique in discussion of fight stages. Allegories of the poet combining his feelings with seeing look like watching Delakruan`s pictures to Vagner`s music.
Firdovsi`s artistic giantess is as genius as that of Rebrandt. He passes from cruel fight stages to mysterious nature panoramas of different seasons of year immediately. Poet takes pleasure in autumn especially. He presents beautiful panoramas of autumn in the name of his famous hero Bahram Gur. But Firdovsi is not satisfied only with panoramas of fight and nature. He talks about higher moral values in the same artistic skill.
Sense, justice, courage and strength are not being represented in the person of the different heroes separately in Firdovsi`s work, but they are combined in the same person, i.e. in the Iranian ruler organically and it makes the image more substantial, interesting and varied. So the author has written educational work too. The young Iranians get acquainted with Firdovsi`s immortal work of literature in their adolescence ages and they understand that what is true and what is not true in the life.
Many interesting and miraculous events happen in “Shahname”. The author does not want to interfere in the God’s mysteries. His wisdom is represented in his nobility and self-respect. Along with he is very clever and far-sighted.
One of the hardest lessons presented to the reader in “Shahname” is a conversation on the ending of the Sasanids` dynasty, death of the national independence, language and civilization.
Of course, for centuries new states had arisen which returned back the people their language, independence and developed their culture. To our mind, such “innovations” has arisen namely in the basis of Firdovsi’s work.
The pictures of Firdovsi`s heroes- Rustam, Sayavush, Iranj, Bahram Gur have been hanged on the walls of tea-rooms and shops of Iranian different cities. Firdovsi is very famous in the sport establishments, because the author praises healthy life and sport in his work.
Firdovsi`s day by day increasing reputation will only gladden us. His “Shahname” is prompt Iranian poet’s non-substitutive present to the all mankind differing in higher moral values, eternal wisdom, artistic maturity.
In general, Firdovsi`s world-famed work of literature “Shahname” has been translated to some languages, it has been investigated by poets and writers, scientist and intellectuals. Azerbaijanian scientists, intellectuals and art workers have expressed their opinions about this work having been translated into Azerbaijan many times and they have written new works of literature inspiring from Firdovsi’s “Shahname”. It is possible to put example the founder of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic M.E.Rasulzadeh. Namely after reading Firdovsi’s “Shahname” M.E.Rasulzadeh sits and thinks. He writes “Messenger of our century” within 7-8 days.
In 1910-1915 other Azerbaijanian composer of genius U. Hajibayov has written national operas of “Rustam and Sohrab” (1910), “Shah Abbas and Khurshidbanu” (1912), “Asly and Karam” (1912), “Harun and Leyla” (1915). U.Hajibayov has written librettos of these operas on the basis of folk-lore, epos, legends and motives of Firdovsi`s “Shahname”. “Shahname” has been in the centre of attention of Azerbaijan miniature painters. Firdovsi`s famous epopee “Shahname” has forced painters` creative activities, it has inspired them to create unexampled artistic works demonstrating worldwide senses and high love far from religious ideas and asceticism. Compositions describing main heroes of “Shahname” Rustam, Bahram and Alexander`s legendary valours, adventures take basic place among the illustrations being different according to the artistic value, genre, idea, content and plot. Unknown painters who had drawn the illustrations in “Shahname» had found means of description being improved as per drawing, composition and colour in their most successful works, they had tried to solve more complex and artistic-aesthetic problems. By characterizing the heroes in detail, showing their inner life, joy and pangs, sense and needs, the painters have achieved the solution of problem – psychological expressiveness of the image which is not characteristic to the eastern miniatures. For instance, if the miniature of “Bahram Gur`s killing the dragon” differs in maturity and of dynamic of composition, the others “Ardavan at Ardashir`s”, “Death of Alexander”, “News on Iranj`s death” draw attention with psychological expressiveness of images and its emotional force.
In spite of differentness in the style, manner, composition and solution of images the miniatures of the copy of this rare work of literature “Shahname” has opened new creative direction in the development of Azerbaijan miniature art, it had turned Tabriz school to the basic centre of miniature art in the Near and Middle East.
Firdovsi`s “Shahname” has always been investigated by Azerbaijanian writers, poets and translators attentively. In the beginning of the last century R.Afandiyev publishes a part of “Shahname” with the name of “Father and son”. Moreover, A.Nazmi, I.Tahir, A.Abasat, M.Mushfig, M.Seyidzadeh, A.Shaig, M.M.Ibrahimi have translated different parts of Firdovsi`s “Shahname” for Azerbaijanian reader. One of founders of “Molla Nasreddin” journal M.A.Sabir`s translations from Firdovsi`s “Shahname” are the expressions of interest to the Iranian literature in Azerbaijan.
PHD Ahmad Shahidov
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