Asian studies in Lithuania
Original language: Russian
Translated from: Russian
Authors: Aitmatov, Chinghiz
Translated by: Vaitkus, Juozas
Full translated source bibliographical description:

Chingiz Aitmatov Burannij Poluctanok (I dolshe veka dlitcia dien) M. Molodaja gvardija; 1981

ISBN: 4702170200-076
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 1987
Publisher: Vaga

The plot of the novel takes place in Central Asia Sary Ozek steppe, during the Cold War. The pivotal objects and livelihood of the locals: Buranly-Buran train station and the constantly rattling trains, which \”go from east to west and from west to east…” Everything was measured in this unrelenting and void steppe from the train rails, like from the Greenwich meridian.

The story unfolds with the main character, a worker at the train station, Buran Yedigej, receiving news, that his good friend Kazangap has died. Then begins the preparation for the funeral and eventually, the burial – everything lasts only for a few days. The main content of the novel takes place inside Yedigej’s “head”, or, in his memories. In preperation of the burial, he remembers a lot that has happened throughout his life: from serving in the soviet army, living near the Aral sea, to the fateful acquaintance with Kazangap and settling in the Sary Ozek steppe.

The novel showcases the everyday lives of people, exhausted by the soviet regime, sometimes even absurd (which might be strange, considering C. Aitmatov is a renowned soviet writer). Allegory of the mankurt imparts the decline of a nation\’s self-conciousness, implies the need to preserve a nation\’s distinctive traits in the constantly modernizing world. Tradition, family values, kindness are the jewels that Chinghiz Aitmatov holded in very high regard.

Chinghiz Aitmatov (1928-2008) – the best known figure in Kyrgyzstans literature, Lenin’s award laureate. The main themes of his work include analyzing the reality of life in the Soviet Union, repressions under Stalin, the demotion of man for the sake of ideology and the threat of industrialized civilization to humanity and nature.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU