Kazakh writer Gabiden Mustafin who captured the essence of the Soviet working class turns 120

ASTANA- Today, November 13, Kazakhstan celebrates 120 years of Gabiden Mustafin, the leading Kazakh writer of the Soviet period who created outstanding stories about many aspects of Soviet life, with a focus on the working class .

Gabiden Mustafin

Through his writings, Mustafin portrayed a powerful image of the novelties that the Soviet government brought to the Kazakh auyl (village), the newness of the steppe, and the awakening of the poor and ordinary people to active and creative work. .

Mustafin was born in 1902 into a family of breeders in the province of Sartobe in the Karagandy region. He learned to read and write from mullah auyl and after studying in a two-class school at the Spassk factory, Mustafin became independent.

From the very beginning, Mustafin was fond of reading newspapers and over time he began to write notes and sketches of essays for the newspaper “Enbekshi Kazakh” (Kazakh Work). His first short story collection “Er-Shoyin” (Cast Iron Man) was published in 1929.

The majority of his fiction in the Soviet years was, in fact, about the daily lives of ordinary workers and auyl people. looking for a bright future.

One of the greatest Kazakh writers Mukhtar Auezov appreciated Mustafin for his ability to find his unique tone and theme. “The peculiarity of Gabiden’s creativity is that from the first responsible step he was a writer who found his own nerve, precisely chose his path,” Auezov said.

Gabiden Mustafin and writer Gabit Musrepov were close friends and contemporaries. Coincidentally, they were born in the same year and died almost at the same time. From left to right: writer Sabit Mukanov, Mustafin, Musrepov. Photo credit: adebiportal.kz

The particularity of Mustafin was his constant desire to dive into the heart of the matter. He considered it a moral duty for the author to familiarize himself with the experiences he was writing about.

“If your work doesn’t thrill your heart, it won’t touch the reader’s heart either.” If you do not suffer in search of the right word, the right thought, do not feel the happiness of the finished work, then is it worth picking up a pen? writes the writer.

This led Mustafin to return to his hometown in 1930, where he engaged in all manner of work, ranging from digger to helper, common laborer and apprentice to locksmith. Mustafin’s interest in working-class life began in 1933 when he began working as a mechanic and then as a turner in the Karagandy mines.

In 1938, he was appointed executive secretary of the Proletariat Karaganda newspaper. Soon Mustafin moved to Novosibirsk to engage in the production of the Qyzyl-Tu (Red Flag) newspaper in the Kazakh language.

In 1940, Mustafin became editor of the magazine “Adebiyet Maidany” (Literature Front), where he worked for eight years. In 1953-1957 he was the chairman of the Writers’ Union of the Board of the Kazakh SSR, and in 1961 Mustafin was promoted to first secretary of the union.

Mustafin has published its first novel “Life or Death” in 1940. The novel was dedicated to the working class of Kazakhstan, in particular to the industrialization of Karagandy. He described the complex process of formation both institutional and psychological of a real working class from nomadic herders.

Among Mustafin’s best works is the novel “Millionaire” published in 1948, which tells the story of the strengthening and development of the collective farm system. This book was praised by many personalities of Soviet literature, including Aleksandr Fadeev.

Later, the novel also raised objections. In the difficult post-war years, the author portrays kolkhoz life as comfortable, which seems to mask the reality of life in kolkhozes.

Mustafin was also known for his close friendship with another prominent Kazakh writer, Gabit Musrepov, who wrote the following words about him: “He did a lot to direct our literature towards the themes of our life today. Describing contemporary reality is not easy and not everyone succeeds. Gabiden Mustafin grows up, he creates typical images of our contemporaries.

Mustafin died in 1985. Over the years of his creative work, Mustafin has written four novels, dozens of plays, stories and essays.

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