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Culture, Literature

playwright, poet, newspaper editor, activism, origin

Kazakhstan has a small body of national literature, most of it recent in origin. Until the 19th century, the oral epics of the traveling aqyns formed the Kazakhs’ main literary tradition. Abay Ibrahim Kunanbayev, a poet of the late 19th century, is widely regarded as the father of Kazakh literature. During the reformist period of the early 20th century, before the Soviet imposition of socialist realism, several Kazakh authors developed a modernist body of Kazakh writing. Aqmet Baytursunov, an author and newspaper editor, is credited with leading this literary advancement. For their activism in cultural politics, these authors were imprisoned in the 1930s during Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s brutal purges, which targeted leading intellectuals among others. The best-known Kazakh literary figure of the Soviet period was Mukhtar Auezov, a playwright and novelist.

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playwright, poet, newspaper editor, activism, origin, Kazakhstan, century, novelist


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