10 June 2008

The Passing of Chingiz Aitmatov

Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov passed away in a German hospital today at the age of 79. (English language coverage here.)

I first came across Aitmatov's work, in the form of The Day Last More than a Hundred Years, in a seminar on the history of the Soviet intelligentsia in 1995. It was this novel that convinced me that my interest in ethnic studies might be put together with an interest in the Soviet experiment in a fruitful way. (We are still waiting to see if this notion carries water.)

If you've never read his work, now is as good a time as ever to start.


Anonymous said...

That's sad news. I read a collection of his stories, published in English (Foreign Languages Publishing House) under the title Tales of Mountains and Steppe. That was probably 30 years ago but I still have some vivid memories and should definitely dig out that book and read it again.

kg said...

Reading "Proschai, Gyul'sary" was one of the great literary experiences/discoveries of my childhood. I can barely remember anything of the plot, but I remember loving it.
79 is too goddamn young.