Searching for the self at the crossroads of Central Asian, Russian and Soviet cultures: the question of identity in the works of Timur Pulatov and Chingiz Aitmatov
The primary focus of this study is on manifestations of multilingualism and multiculturality in the prose fiction of Timur Pulatov and Chingiz Aitmatov. The dissertation discusses the works of both authors, not only treating direct and allegorical reflections of the tensions inherent in a post-colonial situation but exploring the stylistic ramifications of having access to multiple cultural traditions along with the alienation caused by the colonizer's educational system.Part One of the dissertation is primarily concerned with each author's development as a writer and in the evolution of their attitude toward the various cultural and value systems that surrounded them. The second part of the study focuses on the topics of alienation, identity, and the fate of the individual who finds himself at the nexus of two or more cultures.In approaching Aitmatov's and Pulatov's works as post-colonial literature this dissertation offers new insights into both authors' writing. Moreover, the similarities and differences that are revealed to exist between the two writers allow us to attain a better understanding of the role played by the different colonial relationships that Soviet Russia had with primarily nomadic Kyrgyzstan and the sedentary cultures of the Central Asian oases. That not all of the differences in the two authors' outlooks can be attributed to the divergence in their experience with Soviet power helps to reveal the extent to which the response to a post-colonial situation can vary among individuals.