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SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Peculiarities of artistic thinking of Mehmet Nuzhet

Kirimov Tair Nuridinovich

PhD in Philology

Senior Educator, the department of Crimean Tatar Literature and Journalism, Crimean Engineering and Pedagogical University named after Fevzi Yakubov

295015, Russia, respublika Krym, g. Simferopol', per. Uchebnyi, 8

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The goal of this work is determine the peculiarities and origins of artistic thinking of the Crimean Tatar writer of the XX century Mehmet Nuzhet. The methodological and theoretical framework of this research is comprised of the works of U. Ipchi, E. Shemizade, J. Bekirov, A. Altanly, I. Kerimov, Y. Kandymov and others. The aforementioned authors made an indisputable contribution to the development of Crimean Tatar literature and literary criticism. The artistic heritage of M. Nuzhet is diverse and unique. His poetic, prosaic and translation works are fused with national spirit. The actions and feelings of the protagonists of the artist’s lyrical works are a direct reflection of his psychological state. This article pays special attention to the psychological type of the lyricist. Using comparative, textual analysis, the author examines the published and original handwritten texts by M. Nuzhet. The conclusion is made that the writer systematically worked on the study of the depth feelings, emotions and ways their expression. The application of traditional folk poetic forms, genres, images allows creating the new patterns of influence upon the audience. Conveying the eternal anthropological topics, he transforms into a wise folk storyteller and preacher. For depicting the life realities, he disguises an old poor man or a street drunkard. Poetic alliterations and assonances enliven these images. In the process of declamation of such poems, the audience is captivated by the text and uses various mimic emotions intended by the context.

Keywords: Mehmet, literature, classic, Tatar, Crimean, type, psychological, thinkin, artistic, Nuzhet


The fate and creative heritage of M. Nuzhet always remain in the focus of attention of Crimean Tatar literary critics, linguists, biographers, and art historians. For example, in the writings of U. Ipchi, E. Shemizade, J. Bekirov, A. Altanly, Yu. Temirkaya, I. Kerimov, Yu. Kandymov, the cultural-historical, political processes in Crimea that affect the formation of the writer’s personality are addressed; strategies for finding manuscripts lost after his death are discussed [1-5]. In this way, in 2003, a collection of selected works by M. Nuzhet entitled “Qırımnıñ çöl ayatından" ("From the Life of the Crimean Steppe"), compiled by N. Seytyagyaev [6] was published. Recently the book of the memoirs of her daughter Nihal about him “Babaçığımnı hatırlap” (“Remembering Daddy”) edited by K. Salyadinov [7] has come out. They are supplemented by a number of thematic articles and notes published in some domestic and foreign periodicals. Here readers can familiarize themselves with a block of interesting information about the life, writing and educational activities of the author. At the same time, in the pre-war national periodicals, like “Yeñi dünya” (“The New World”), “Közaydın” (“The Good News”), “Yañı Çolpan” (“The New Venus”), “Millet” (“The Nation”), “İleri” (“Forward”) can be found and little-known poems by Mehmet Nuzhet, signed by the pseudonyms Tyuyrevich, Chelebizade Aidar Gazy [8, p. 251–252]. No less remarkable is the translation activity of the writer. In 1929 – 1930 he translated into the Crimean Tatar language the works by A. Chekhov – “Agafya”, E. Byvalov – “Reggie”, B. Zhitkov – “Carpenter”, A. Mirskaya – “Courageous” [8, p. 40, 41, 63, 97, 122, 134].


The classic of Crimean Tatar literature M. Nuzhet worked fruitfully in various genres of poetry and prose. In his works subtle, soulful feelings come to life, clothed in elegant speech figures. The author creates images of memorable literary heroes, traces how their characters are manifested in very complex, often harsh living conditions. In the event that it is necessary to clarify certain national features, the worldviews of the people, he resorts to a psychological analysis of the relationship of people in a particular society.

Here, for example, at first glance, the seemingly simple, comic, the dramatic storyline by M. Nuzhet, “Selim Sohta” (“Student Selim”). He depicts mainly in gray, negative, sardonic tones a student of the madrasah - a bearded man in the prime of life. Various ridiculous adventures happen with Selim. These adventures are caused, first of all, by his dream to connect his fate with Momine, the gentle and good-natured daughter of a wealthy peasant. But only for many years, Selim, either because of inexplicable psychological difficulties, or because of his difficult economic situation, did not dare to reveal his feelings to the girl he liked. Once, when the news came to him about the engagement of the girl with Kurtmurat – the son of the rich man Adzhemet Kipchakly – the lovelorn swain could do nothing but put out the fire of love in his heart. However, after some time, the rumor about the death of Momine’s husband in the Russian-Japanese war revived his lost hopes. This time, trying not to miss the wonderful opportunity to get close to his beloved, Selim does not pay much attention to the fact that she has two small children. In the end, while preparing for marriage, a fateful letter comes unexpectedly to everyone from the war, which radically turns the life of the protagonist. It is noteworthy that M. Nuzhet, with the help of a letter, also changes the current of events in another story – “Bahtsız horanta” (“Unfortunate Family”). No less interesting is the fact that the discerning reader, having reached the very dramatic intensity of the plot, can see in the seemingly unchanged appearance of the character, the features of a gentle, vulnerable person. Selim appears before us in a completely different role. At that moment, when the situation is extremely tense, the figure of the author becomes obvious in the narrative structure of the story. He takes responsibility to read the contents of the letter:

Gece düşümde, kündüz esimde, başımnıñ tacı, göñlümniñ ilâcı, derdimniñ dermanı, quvançımnıñ fermanı, bağçamnıñ gülü, dalımnıñ bülbüli, cerde izim, kökte yıldızım… Mоmine hanıma çоq-çоq selâmlar idüp, hatır-ı şerifni istifsar iderim. Ve yine, kürpe qоzularım Ayşemen Esmanıñ közçüklerinden öpüp, menim bu qavğadan sağ-selâmet üyge qaytup barmaqlığım içün Tañriden gece-kündüz dua idüp istemeñizni irca etemen. (Men ölsem de, qalsam da eger) bu kişi sizge barğanday bоsa eger, menim bir qabat urbamnı оğa kiydiriñiz, biz оnuñman bek yaqın dоst bоlğanımızdan, birbirimizge resimlerimizni de beriştik. Baqiy selâm, qara yazılı Qurtmurat...[6, p. 152].

("To this one who appears at night in a dream, and during the day in memories; the crown of power is above me; the firman of happiness, the healer of my heart, a nightingale on a branch, a rose in my garden, a footprint on the ground, a glimpse of a star in heaven. I greet from afar my Momine khanum and hasten to inquire about her health. Again kissing Ayshe and Esma, my little goats, like dewdrops, I ask you to pray to God for my safe return from the war. Whether I am dead or alive, dress the person who came from me in my clothes. We became close friends and exchanged a keepsake photographs. Respectfully, miserable Kurtmurat...").

The main text of the work under consideration and the above text of the letter are markedly different from each other in language and style. Through functional-style bundles of vocabulary, in particular, a peculiar combination of prose and poetry, the writer is looking for ways to convey high feelings. Moreover, this is not the only case of mixing genres in his work. It is enough to bethink a poetic story called “Feride apte” (“Aunt Feride”) [6, p. 159–164]. The rhetorical gradations, expressive intonation repetitions used in the text of the letter suggest the great inspiration of the literary hero, as if we hear his rapid breathing and feel romantic dizziness from love for his wife. This stylistic figure, called polysindeton, helps the reader to imagine the character’s feelings with particular brightness.

We find a similar reconstruction of an elevated love state in the author’s lyrics, in particular, in a verse that reveals the tragic fate of the poet. This poem is close by the genre to crying (ağıt ), here the lyrical hero mourns the death of his beloved wife:

“Altındayım, elmazım, açqan gülüm,

Benlik , barlıq, bağımda bir bülbülim...” [6, p. 98].

(“I went down [to the grave], my diamond, an open rose,

I am you, my life, the nightingale in the rose garden...”).

These first lines of the poem “The Sorrow of My Broken Heart”, in which the picture of the last farewell to the beloved is recreated, are imbued with sorrowful feelings, full of deep dramatic effect. We see how, under the prayer of the mullah “Bismillâhi ve alâ milletiResülillâh” (“In the name of Allah, before the co-religionists of the Prophet we bury you”), the husband descends into the grave and, stretching his arms up, at the same time holds the body of the deceased with affectionate trembling, trying not to drop it. The sad words that a husband speaks to his wife for the last time are extremely touching and soulful. This is the original couplet, which for some reason is absent in the publications of E. Shemizade, biographer M. Nuzhet, we find in the new edition of the author’s selected works, prepared on the basis of manuscripts. The poem under consideration is included in the poetic cycle “Qırımnıñ çöl ayatından” (“From the life of the steppe Crimea”). The continuation of the poem is no less emotional and alarming:

Tabut tartup teniñni tоpraq tuttı,

C canıñnı cutuq cer calmap cuttı.

Uçtıñ artıq, elimden ölüm aldı,

Q ırıq qalbim qararup, qarap qaldı.

K öz körmegen keçede, köñül kirli,

T üşünceler, tasalar türli-türli.

M ezarıña mingenler miyavquşlar,

T ek, tik tenge tuyula tik tavuşlar...[6, p. 98].

(“Tearing the burdens [out of hands], the earth grabbed you,

The grave swallowed and chewed on a young soul.

You flew away, pulled you out of my hands death

My broken heart, darkened with grief, went mad.

My heart is darker than a hopeless night

All kinds of thoughts, sorrows torment me.

Only owls sit on your grave

Occasionally they only hear their (terrible) cry...”).

Expressive sound recording is very noticeable in the original text. This helps more clearly represent the experiences of the lyrical hero. It is as if we see his dry, blue lips, from which bursts of immense sadness, impulses of anger and despair break out. Alliterations, assonances are consistent with the person’s state, the reader feels a shudder of the body, exclamations, screams, stuck in a throat, but coming from the very depths of the soul:

Talpınaman tentirep, ten tarlıqta,

M ırıldanup, mоñsirep mezarlıqta.

Q abiriñni qarmalap qaltırayman,

C anğa cetti canğızlıq, dep cılayman” [6, p. 98].

(“I'm shuddering, trying to break out of body captivity,

Wandering around the cemetery in moaning and sorrow.

I tremble when I see your grave

Tired of loneliness, I do not hide tears”).

Eloquent phonetic repetitions used by the poet Dzhemil Kermenchikli against the background of anaphora contribute to such expressiveness, emotional intensity. In his poem filled with revolutionary pathos, “Sevin, ey, şanlı millet!” (“Cheer, hey, glorious people!”), are depicted people who want to immediately get even with traitors.

“Bıraq! Biraz damarında dоlaşan qan qurusun.

Bıraq! Biraz zindanlarda kemikleri çürüsün.

Bıraq! Biraz sürgünlerde bizim kibi yürüsün.

Bıraq! Biraz kоzlerinde hasret qanı bürüsün [10].

(“Come on! Let the blood spoil a little and in their veins.

Give it up! Let their bones in the dungeons rot a little.

Give it up! Let a little, like us, wander around a foreign land.

Give it up! Let a little and sadness be reflected in their eyes”).

In these pathetic lines, an impressionable reader can hear the terrible roar of a pack of furious wolves, ready to pounce on their victim.

Both authors are united by deep feelings for the fate of the people they represent and whose traditions are developped in their oeuvre. It is no accident that genres, forms, dramatic and anecdotal episodes in M. Nuzhet's work are drawn from folk life. These are the five-letter, similar in form to the national songs, couplets – “İçki qurbanı” (“Victim of the potion”), “Batır cigit” (“Bold dzhigit”), “Qarılğaç” (“Swallow”), and parables that are largely close to a folk tale – “Tilenci qart” (“The Old Pauper”), “Kirpi ve turna” (“The Hedgehog and the Crane”), “Oñmaz bike” (“The Muddy Mistress”). Such are also the fables in which the outdated moral principles are ridiculed – “Qışta neler añılır?” (“What is remembered in winter”), “Haq rahmet eylesin!” (“May rest in peace!”), “Vaaz” (“Sermon”). Here are typical poetic lines:

“Bir zamanda bek aytuvlı bir baynıñ

Оlğan büyük taqdirinen Hudaynıñ,

Dar-dünyada mal degenden bir qızı,

Lâkin sоqur eken оnuñ bir közü.

Hоca, mektep, оquv, yazı körmegen,

Bay оlğan sоñ, оquyım dep, yürmegen...” [6, p. 39].

(“Once upon a very famous money-bag,

By God's great will

The only daughter in this cramped light

That's just in one eye she was blind.

She did not know about school or literacy,

For, being rich, did not see the need for it ...”).

These are lines from the poem “Soqur közden saadet” (“Happiness from a blind eye”). Here you can see the continuation of the plot of the matchmaking with the intrigues of that very student (sokhta) Selim. Starting his poem in the style of a fairy tale, the poet tells about the careless life of an illiterate girl. Here he shows compassion for the ignorant (because of poverty) peasants, expresses contempt for the rich, who ignore school. Thus, the poet compares the illiteracy of the "old maid" with an unsightly blind eye. Ugly blindness (ignorance) attracts only Sefer, the unlucky, carefree student of madrassah, who dreams nevertheless of a bright future.

This moment in the life of M. Nuzhet, as a master of creating anecdotal stories, successfully uses the following poetic narrative:

“Kiyev etip ketirgenler Seferni,

Seadetke tez qavuşqan bu «erni».

Qapağanlar aqşam qıznıñ evine,

Kirgen kiyev, pek sevine-sevine.

İzin almay, qızıñ sоrap özünden,

Pek yürekten öpe sоqur közünden.

– Vay! Sav sоyun öpseñiz, ev! – degen qız.

Sоhta degen: «Bu menimçün bir yıldız!

Оlmağaydı eger seniñ bu közüñ,

Aram ediñ hep bir mağa sen özüñ...” [6, p. 39].

(“Behold, they brought the bridegroom Sefer,

"Husband", who quickly achieved happiness.

Locked in the evening in a room with his fiancee

Enters the bridegroom with excessive joy.

Without the permission of the girl

The blind eye wholeheartedly kisses.

“Isn't it better for you to kiss a healthy eye?” she was indignant.

In response, the student: “It just shone for me!

If it weren’t for your eye,

You really would be disgusting to me...”).

In the last lines of the poem, the eccentricity and sharpness of the poet’s thought attracts special attention. It can be assumed that against the background of the contrast of aesthetic and ethical values, the regrettable “prose of life” is clearly manifested.

As noted, the poet shows great interest in the feelings and forms of expression. So, for the purpose of familiarizing himself with the forms of ignorance, he listens to the drooping, sadly shrinking his head in the shoulders of the impoverished old shepherd. He puts his shoulder under the farmer, who had too much to drink wine, and despaired of the everyday hopelessness, so that he does not stare at night in the winter cold. Because of this, he spars with a thick-bellied and a thick-necked hypocrite mullah.

These features of the author’s oeuvre are subtly felt by the contemporary painter Zarema Trasinova, a skilled master of book graphics. Her works vividly feature many typecasts described in such works of the writer as “Noğaynıñ adağı” (“Promises of the Nogay”), “Şairniñ uyqusı” (“The Poet's Dream”), “Aman, şu aqaylar!” (“Let’s go, men!”), “Bastırıqqa” (“In the Prison”), “Tilenci qart” (“The Pauper Old Man”), “Öşek” (“Defamation”), “Bahtsız horanta” (“Disadvantaged Family”). Her illustrations help us take a fresh look at the slanderer Fatima, the unfortunate Safije, the two-faced Menseit. They help to relive the sorrow for the vain life of a poor shepherd, to hear how the poet’s heartbeat in the prison cell goes astray.

The poet, trying to comprehend reality in a variety of ways, resorts to various narrative strategies. In order to lend more realism, he can speak through the mouth of his hero, act as a witness to important events. Such an original approach helps M. Nuzhet not to appear in the society of readers as an annoying moralist. As an example one can cite a poem published in the Crimean Tatar newspaper Millet from 1917 to 1918: “Ökünç” (“Repentance”), “Bir sarhoşnıñ ağzından” (“Confession of a drunkard”), “Bir tatarnıñ fiğanı” (“Wailing of the Tatar”) and others. In instructive verses, the poet, as it were, takes over the sins and troubles of the people and, with bitter tears of repentance, tries to attract to the narrator the special attention of those around him.

The poem “Ağladım" ("Broken into tears") is written in the following manner:

“Alem-i islâmı baştan başa seyran iderken,

Ey-vah! Sürü-sürü mazlumları körüp ağladım!

Saireler marifette cihanı hayran iderken,

Közleri bağlı müslümanları körüp ağladım.

Emlâki ğasp idilmiş, huquqı payimal оlmuş,

Haqsız çiynenmiş masüm canları körüp ağladım!

Mesut aileler şerr adüve duçar оlup,

Suv kibi tökülmiş al qanları körüp ağladım!

Vucutlar berbat оlmuş, qalmamış hayattan eser,

Çehreleri sоlmuş insanları körüp ağladım!

Nedir dоstluq, nedir düşmanlıq bilen pek az qalmış,

Kör nefsine qurban оlanları körüp ağladım!

Qardaşınıñ müthiş derdine dermanlar arayup,

Hücumlara maruz qalanları körüp ağladım!

Bu halı felâket iştimalden ibret almayan,

İnsan şeklindeki hayvanları körüp ağladım!” [11].

(“Wandering around the Muslim world for a long time,

Oh woe! Watching the crowds of the oppressed, I cried!

When everyone admired the achievements of the universe,

Looking at the Muslims blindfolded, I cried!

They were deprived of property, their will and honor were downtrodden,

Looking at these repressed innocent souls, I cried!

Oh those happy families in the hands of a sworn enemy

Watching their blood spill over the river, I cried!

Exhausted bodies that show no signs of life

Looking at the faded faces of these people, I cried!

Oh, those who have ceased to distinguish friends from enemies,

Looking at these victims of blind desires and vanities, I cried!

Oh, those who are looking for an elixir from a fellow's terrible ailments,

Looking at how they are being attacked, I cried!

Oh, those who have not learned to draw the moral from infinite disasters,

Looking at you, creatures in the form of a man, I cried!”).

Unfortunately, these poetic lines have not lost their relevance and value even today. The state of Muslims has changed little since the days of the author’s life and activities. In order to attract the attention of fellow believers to the global ideological crisis, the poet resorts to the sacramental of lamentation, deploration. Thus, referring to the people around him, he talks about the values of faith and morality, warns of the perniciousness of ignorance and lowly desires. Probably, the poet learned a similar psychological strategy for influencing people in classes on theological rhetoric in madrassas. It is known that Mehmet Nuzhet took classes at the famous religious educational institutions in Crimea and Kazan.


The short life of the author (1988–1934) is filled with tragic events. The early death of the mother, the death of the first wife with the child, and at the same time the persecution by the Soviet authorities for his loyalty to the national idea, formed a poet-fighter, philosopher. The multifaceted creative heritage of Mehmet Nuzhet is a significant phenomenon of classical Crimean Tatar literature of the first half of the twentieth century. In the author's imaginative writing, one can feel the sharpness and originality of the poetic thought. In an effort to diversify the true reality of being, he resorts to various literary strategies. In order to attract the reader’s attention to the problems associated with the search for the national and cultural identity of the people, the poet uses stylistic and semantic figures, as well as literary and epistolary genres - crying, tale, anecdote, letter. At the same time, the language of poetry by M. Nuzhet completely coincidentally combines several functional styles of speech, such as journalistic, sublime, and folk. Through his works, characters, images, the writer seeks to convince, enlighten the readers, arouse in them high feelings. Actually, all the work of the writer is built on feelings. Previously, researchers paid little attention to this. Today, applying the psychological and semiotic approaches to the study of literary texts by the classic, it was possible to examine in more detail the moral and ethical face of M. Nuzhet. To understand deeper his philosophy of life.

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