Founder of Azerbaijani realistic tragedy genre in literature

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By Laman Ismayilova

Najaf bay Vazirov entered the history books as the founder of the realistic tragedy genre in Azerbaijan. The writer was also known as the country’s first serial writer (a soap opera writer), reports Azernews.

Vazirov was born in Shusha, where he also received his primary education. He completed a gymnasium (secondary school) in Baku with a silver medal.

In Baku, the young writer met the founder of the first Azerbaijani-language newspaper “Akinchi” (The Ploughman), who was teaching at the school.

Noticing the student’s interest in the theater, Hasan bay began to involve him in directing the works of the founder of the Azerbaijani drama Mirza Fatali Akhundov.

Akhundov’s plays were staged for the first time in the Azerbaijani language and thus laid the foundations of professional Azerbaijani theatrical art.

During his student years, Najaf Bay often visited Moscow theaters, where he got more deeply acquainted with the works of the classics of Russian drama, among which he especially admired the plays of Alexander Ostrovsky.

Moscow theaters left an indelible impression on the young Azerbaijani writer and awakened in him an interest in realistic dramaturgy.

Thus, Najaf bay began to write articles, essays and serials for the newspaper “Akinchi” (The Plowman).

Founder of the realistic tragic genre in Azerbaijan

In his works, Vazirov exposed and criticized the remnants of feudalism in society.

In 1896, Vazirov wrote the first Azerbaijani tragedy “The Sorrow of Fakhraddin” in which he created a positive image of a young Azerbaijani educator-landlord, protesting against feudal orders and striving to reform the patriarchal way of life.

The tragedy deals with the theme of fanaticism suppressing educated young minds struggling against reactionism and ignorance.

Najaf Vazirov’s Bay is considered the first example of the realistic tragic genre in Azerbaijani literature.

In his later works such as Pahlivan-i Zamana (Hero of Our Time), the writer also criticized the patriarchal social system.

Her last book, Taza asrin ibtidasi (The beginning of the new century) was devoted to the emancipation of women.

Najaf Vazirov Bay Theater Productions

The second period of Najaf bay Vazirov’s creativity coincided with the oil boom, the blossoming of Baku capitalism and bourgeois life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

His works “Heroes of Time” (1898-1900), “Aghakarim Khan of Ardabil” (1902), “The Cursed Money Hunter Haji Faraj” (1914) and other plays significantly enriched the repertoire of Azerbaijani theaters .

Theatrical productions, such as “The stone thrown from behind hits the heel”, “From rain to downpour” also made Vazirov an immortal classic of Azerbaijani literature.

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Laman Ismayilova is the journalist of AzerNews, follow her on Twitter: @Lamiva993

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