Zordun Sabir: A Central Figure in Modern Uyghur Literature

Hasanjan, A., & Byler, D. (2017). Zordun Sabir: A Central Figure in Modern Uyghur Literature. Electronic Turkish Studies12(5). Link


The genre of modernist Uyghur Turkic language fiction first emerged in Northwest China (East Turkistan) at the turn of the twentieth century. Since that time it has undergone a great deal of development as an heir to a rich classical poetry tradition. Through this expansion, a number of influential literary writers have emerged among Uyghur intellectuals. Yet despite the growing depth of this body of literary expression, much of this work is gone unnoticed in the Turkish world. In large part this absence of recognition is due to problems of translation and transnational politics. In this essay, we set out to begin to address this gap in Turkish Studies scholarship by introducing the work of Zordun Sabir, one of the most influential fiction writers in twentieth century Uyghur literature. Many of his works of historical fiction have had a deep affect in shaping the reception of fiction writing in Uyghur popular culture. In this essay, we argue that Zordun Sabir’s role as a literary figure, as well as his work itself, have been central in promoting fiction as a literary genre that provides Uyghurs with a sense of their own history and values.


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